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Economic Impact of Automation and Big Data Analytics

When you think about the applications of big data and analytics, the industrial and manufacturing sector may not be top-of-mind. However, consider that every type of commercial enterprise will become a 'digital business' and it makes sense.

Automation and big data analytics will continue to transform key sectors of the global economy.

Today's factories run on data. To harness that data, manufacturers are turning to software applications such as Electronic Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Inventory Management, and CRM and Demand Planning.

Big Data Analytics App Market Development

The investment within the industrial and manufacturing sector on these applications is set to grow from $18 billion in 2019 to just over $27 billion in 2024, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.

"Data underpins activities such as onboarding raw materials, optimizing the production line, organizing the facility, and even to understand clients and the final customer," said Michael Larner, principal analyst at ABI Research.

ERP systems account for over fifty percent of the spend as they provide customers with a single solution to monitor activities on the production line, to understand the firm’s ability to fulfill orders as well as automate many back-office functions.

MES software is expected to be the highest growing segment as manufacturers look to optimize the performance of individual machines and the production line. The spending on MES is forecasted to grow by 13.5 percent CAGR and be worth $2.3 billion in 2024.

A diverse mix of vendors are targeting the industrial markets including software giants Oracle, Salesforce, and SAP, and those with a heritage in industrial manufacturing such as ABB, GE, and Honeywell.

The vendor mix includes others with an industrial-focused software portfolio, such as Dassault Systèmes and Siemens, and start-ups like Katana and Archdesk, which are helping smaller manufacturers scale.

"Supplier propositions are evolving. For example, ERP suppliers continue to add modules such as MES and MOM while inventory management providers are adding demand planning capabilities. Both are blurring segment definitions," Larner adds.

Outlook for AI Software Applications Growth

The software applications no longer just provide data regarding the current conditions. As a result of suppliers investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the applications’ analytical capabilities can help manufacturers plan for future scenarios in their facilities and the wider operating environment.

"Data now flows from the production line to the boardroom and, thanks to APIs, between the software applications. Manufacturers should partner with system integrators to design and assemble their data jigsaw," Larner concludes.

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