According to new research, the amount spent globally by the manufacturing sector on industrial software such as ERP will grow from around £13.7 billion in 2019 to £20.6 billion in 2024.
The research, conducted by global tech advisory firm ABI Research, shows how important data is set to be become for the manufacturing sector.
Over half of the projected spend is expected to be focused on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications, which allow companies to monitor activities on the production line, automate back-office functions and understand their ability to fulfil orders.
However, the highest growing software application is expected to be Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), which enable manufacturers to optimise the performance of individual machines on the production line. Spend on MES is forecasted to grow by 13.5 per cent annually.
Other software applications heavily used by the manufacturing sector include Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Inventory Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Demand Planning.
As a result of AI and machine learning, software applications will also increasingly be used to look beyond current conditions on the shop floor to planning and predicting future scenarios.
Meanwhile, in addition to traditional software giants such as Oracle and Salesforce, newer providers which focus on helping smaller manufacturers, such as Katana and Archdesk, are growing, ABI Research said.
Michael Lerner, Principal Analyst at ABI Research, explained:
“Data underpins activities, such as onboarding raw materials, optimising the production line, organising the facility, and even to understand clients and the final customer.
“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. Data now flows from the production line to the boardroom.”