Operational Efficiency :This includes pushing for faster innovation, automation and continual digital transformation for boosting resilience and data-driven strategizing.

In a Feb 2022 survey of around 270 business and IT decision-makers from high-tech manufacturers in Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand in Q1 2022 on the impact of high-performance networking and security solutions on connected and smart high-tech manufacturing operations, three in four manufacturers polled in the countries involved had prioritized innovation and automation for greater operational efficiency and resilience over the past 12 months. 

Some 63% of respondents indicated that edge solutions, IoT applications and networks were essential to driving innovation, and 61% indicated they had optimized manufacturing processes with automation and robots. Meanwhile, 69% indicated they were either piloting or were already using cloud-managed networking and security solutions. Respondents were offered a small incentive to thank them for participation.

The resultant survey data indicated that 66% respondents were seeing a rise in the importance of enabling consistent network operation and remote monitoring, and a similar percentage of respondents had indicated that modern, resilient operations were just as important.

Other findings

Polled on their intention to build on previous investments in AI-powered software to optimize operations, implement predictive capabilities, and optimize productivity, 64% of respondents had they had such plans in mind. Also:

  • 52% APJ decision-makers in the survey ranked data privacy and security concerns as two top-five challenges when implementing networking solutions, while 48% indicated a lack of cybersecurity features in legacy IoT devices as one of their top five challenges. About 18% ranked the information technology/operational technology (IT/OT) divide as one of their top two networking challenges.
  • 38% and 37% of respondents indicated they had plans to leverage cloud-managed networking and SD-WAN technologies respectively to secure their operations in the next 24 months. More than 50% of respondents in the manufacturing sector were also expanding, upgrading, or planning to invest in Zero Trust edge solutions in the same timeframe, while 57% indicated plans to leverage identity-based traffic segmentation to achieve business goals.

According to Mark Verbloot, Senior Director, Product, Solutions and Systems Engineering (Asia Pacific Region), Aruba, which commissioned the survey: “Turbulence in manufacturing and in supply chains in the last two years have underscored the need for manufacturers to accelerate their transition from mass production and economies of scale to prioritizing market and customer responsiveness. In response to the issues they face, high-tech manufacturers are increasingly aligning their technology investments to secure and optimize operations while addressing data privacy and security concerns even as they build greater resilience in the long-term.”