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The role of digitisation in reshaping the industrial manufacturing industry


20 November 2019 – Digitisation is transforming the DNA of industrial manufacturing. Today, digitally smart manufacturers are gaining a competitive advantage by exploiting emerging technologies and trends such as digital twinning, predictive maintenance, track-and-trace, and modular design. 

In our new report, “Defining the new DNA of industrial digital organisations: the CEO’s agenda,” we explain how 8 companies studied in this report and several other examples, have improved their efficiency, productivity and customer experience by ensuring they have the right capabilities central to their operating model and by matching them with strong skill sets in analytics and IT.

Pressure from the consumer, new regulations and advances in information technology are all reasons that are pushing manufacturing organisations to digitise so they can avoid falling behind the new breed of market-leading ‘ digital champions’. In this report we identify four significant changes CEOs must implement to maximise the benefits of digitisation:

1.  Drive organisational changes that address new digital capabilities and digitised processes - e.g.,  product and process design and engineering, end-to-end procurement, supply chain/distribution and after-sales - right from the top, because these are so new and different

2.  Hire more software and Internet of Things (IoT) engineers and data scientists, while training the wider workforce in digital skills

3.  Learn from software businesses, which have the ability to develop use cases rapidly and turn them into software products

4.  Extend digitisation beyond IT to include significant operational technologies (OT) such as track and trace solutions and digital twinning

On the findings of the report Dr. Anil Khurana, PwC Global Industrial, Manufacturing and Automotive Leader said “ The impact of digitisation on manufacturing is tremendous, it will enable the creation of new products, processes, and business models - and ultimately forge digital enterprises. CEOs need to seize the opportunity and catch the wave to avoid falling behind.”

It’s worth noting that this report was done with the support of Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit (GMIS). PwC has been a knowledge partner of GMIS since the founding of GMIS in 2015 and developed several reports together covering different topics related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

On the launch of this Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), said: “Considering the capital investment involved, adopting widespread digital transformation within an organisation requires thorough and well considered analysis of every business process before proceeding with implementation. This PwC report offers a sustainable roadmap that CEOs of manufacturing and industrial companies can adopt in their business transformation strategies to maximise the benefits of digitisation of this magnitude. GMIS provides a forum for industry leaders to interact with governments, technologists, and academia, in order to navigate the challenges and opportunities brought about by the digital technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The third edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS 2020) will take place from 20-21 April, alongside Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial technology trade show in Germany, and will focus on ‘Glocalisation: Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Global Value Chains’. As the world’s first cross-industry platform, The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit unites manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors in a mission to harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s transformation of manufacturing to enable the regeneration of the global economy. #GMIS2020 aims to inspire discussion and agreement on a strategic pathway in order to contribute to promoting sustainable industrial development through innovation and the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a global scale.

Notes to editors:

For more on PwC’s new report “Defining the new DNA of industrial organisations: the CEO’s agenda,” download the report at


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Dalia Adawieh

Senior Manager, Global Communications, United Arab Emirates, PwC United Arab Emirates

+971 4 304 3588


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About GMIS

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) was established in 2015 to build bridges between manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors so that they can harness the transformative power of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). A joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), GMIS is a global platform that presents stakeholders with an opportunity to shape the future of the manufacturing sector and contribute towards global good by advancing some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.