81% of business managers in the manufacturing industry agree that a modern IT infrastructure accelerates innovation, creativity and productivity

Riverbed has launched its expanded ‘Rethink Possible: Visibility and Network Performance – The Pillars of Business Success’ Study, focused on the manufacturing industry, a critical sector for Germany. The study revealed that 81% of business decision makers in manufacturing companies are convinced that IT infrastructure plays a crucial role in enabling their organisations to be innovative, creative, and productive. And, when limited, IT infrastructure inhibits these three success factors enormously (83%).

The Study – which lays out the indisputable link that business and IT decision makers see between strong IT infrastructure and the manufacturing industry – further revealed that 40% of business decision makers in the manufacturing sector consider IT investment to be the most important business objective at present. And that a further 35% of business decision makers in the manufacturing industry prioritise digital transformation. This means that IT expansion in manufacturing is currently more important than traditional corporate operations such as financial rationalisation. Almost two-fifths of the business decision makers (39%) stated that they had pushed digitalisation in their companies to the greatest possible extent, whilst 52% are still in the process of implementing it. 

The vast majority IT decision makers in the manufacturing industry (93%) say that a well-functioning infrastructure plays an even greater role in creativity, innovation and productivity than it does for business decision makers. At the same time, 94% of IT managers say that limitations of these three factors costs organisations a lot of money.

Other key findings from the Rethink Possible: Visibility and Network Performance Study include:

  • IT and business leaders agree that digital performance is crucial for business growth (86%) and staff retention (80%)
  • 88% of IT decision makers reveal that employee satisfaction falls considerably when systems are slow
  • More than two-thirds of IT decision makers (68%) consider network transparency in their companies to be sufficient
  • The majority of IT managers (82%) would, however, like to see more investment in network transparency
  • And finally, at least six in every ten IT decision makers (63%) acknowledge that there’s a lot of catching up to do in preparing management for the challenges of digitisation.

"The Study shows that the majority of the manufacturing industry recognises the importance of having an efficient IT infrastructure. In the coming months and years, as manufacturing returns to a ‘new normal’ way of working, companies will have to invest even more in technology to fully implement digital transformation," comments Colette Kitterhing, Senior Director UK&I at Riverbed Technology. With remote working expected to continue and an overall shift towards a more distributed workforce as a result of the pandemic, the performance of corporate networks is also becoming increasingly important for those sectors where the focus has so far been on the automation of equipment rather than their IT infrastructure. However, the convergence of manufacturing plants and IT is creating new challenges, and the opportunities offered by digitalisation are being fully exploited. To ensure that networks and applications deliver the necessary performance and work efficiently, the IT team needs complete transparency. This is the only way for employees to be truly innovative, creative and productive in times of digitalisation."

Rethink Possible: Evolving the Digital Experience

With 86% of IT and business decision makers in the manufacturing industry believe that digital performance is critical for business growth, technology is the enabler in this process. Riverbed’s portfolio of next-generation solutions is giving customers across the globe the visibility, acceleration, optimisation and connectivity that maximizes performance and visibility for networks and applications.

Research Methodology

The research was conducted by independent research firm Sapio, based in the United Kingdom, on behalf of Riverbed. Riverbed surveyed 1,726 decision makers (those with a final say over budget spend of technology implementations), comprised of 204 C-level decision makers, 758 business decision makers and 764 IT decision makers. Respondents were from the following countries: UK (467), France (454), Germany (451), Netherlands (121), Switzerland (108) and the Middle East (125). All respondents worked in organisations with 500+ employees.

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