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NEWSBYTE: Sensors, analytics, and the Internet of Things (IIoT) are critical components of a market that could add up to $2.2 trillion to the world economy by 2024, according to Capgemini.

That market is smart manufacturing, which many people associate with robotics.

However, a new Capgemini report, Smart Factories at Scale, warns that despite the size of the economic prize, only 14 percent of the 1,000 organisations surveyed describe their smart factories as successful.

The challenge is scaling programmes beyond the pilot phase, as companies encounter greater complexity than they had planned for, together with legacy technology and lack of skills.

At the crux of the matter are IT and operational technology convergence, and the need for employees to develop hybrid skills. Organisations are not investing fast enough in retraining their workforces, warns the report.

Security fears about exposing industrial plants to the internet or local networks are another real challenge. Nearly one-quarter of manufacturers have experienced a cyber-attack on connected systems in the last year.

Yet despite most organisations struggling in this space, a pack of front runners – roughly ten percent of the research sample – have successfully digitised their industrial systems.

The report says, “This elite group of companies make significant investments in the foundations (digital platforms, IT-OT convergence, talent, governance), and balance efficiency by design and effectiveness in operations, leveraging the power of data and collaboration.

“Organisations should identify where they are lagging behind and learn from the best practices of the front runners.

“To unlock the promise of the smart factory, organisations need to design and implement a strong governance programme and develop a culture of data-driven operations.”