How an Outdated IT System Can Be Holding Back Productivity in Manufacturing

Decreasing operating costs and increasing working efficiency are core goals manufacturers work to achieve for their companies. Today, it seems as though these goals become increasingly more attainable with the advancement of technology.

With the rise of artificial intelligence and other technological applications, many manufacturers have become intrigued with the idea of implementing new systems into their existing networks. They hope that these changes will optimize productivity and increase their top line. While adopting new tech may seem straightforward at first, it’s important to note that incorporating the latest and greatest is no easy task.

Taking advantage of technological innovations and completing a digital transformation requires a capable IT infrastructure. Lacking such a framework can not only impair the effectiveness of new technology. It can also impede existing production efficiency with downtime and other disruptions. In worst-case scenarios, an outdated or poorly managed IT framework can make it impossible to embrace digital innovation. This can also slash potential productivity.

How Does IT Affect Productivity?

In today’s business climate technology infrastructures are connected to every aspect of a company. These networks play a crucial role in the execution of business functions. Especially processes such as automation, which allows for the optimization of workforce capacity.

Technology aids a company in nearly all operating activities, making it essential to have a competent and well-managed system in place. This ensures that these tools are operating efficiently and in a harmonious collaboration with all other interconnected technologies in a company’s network.


In order to incorporate new technology into a manufacturing ecosystem, the existing IT framework must be well maintained and capable of accommodating new systems.

According to a survey done by the Harvard Business Review, 49% of respondents identified an inadequate collaboration between IT and line of business applications as an impediment towards their digital transformation, and thus also an impediment on the path to enhanced efficiency and productivity.

The Growing Complexity of IT

A competent IT department or Managed Service Provider can be necessary to facilitate strong collaboration between technology and all line of business applications in an organization. However, this is not the only responsibility they face when it comes to keeping a network up and running. With the exponential growth rate of technological advancement and sophistication, dedicated professionals are tackling many issues and one of the largest is cybersecurity.

On the road to digital transformation and optimization cybersecurity risks become very real. While it may not seem like the first concern of a manufacturing company, cybersecurity is just as important, if not more than other privacy safeguards. With more and more information moving online with services like cloud computing, the need to protect data becomes all the more evident.

Necessity for Talented Individuals in IT

This complexity requires IT departments to take on new and increasingly complicated roles. As such, competent and talented IT workers become necessities rather than luxuries. In a survey conducted by Mulesoft, it was found that 66% of IT decision-makers surveyed admitted that at one point they were unable to deliver on digital projects due to a skills gap.

Without the necessary expertise, a company may never be able to complete its digital transformation. Which can cause serious roadblocks in years to come as new technologies increase the opportunity cost of not bringing in new talent.

What’s the Solution?

Underlying IT issues can cause an organization to be unable to fully optimize in the same way its competitors have. It can be even more difficult to keep up, as those competitors continue to optimize their workforce with new manufacturing technologies.

Engaging with a Managed Service Provider may be the best course of action to continue upward momentum. An MSP has the resources to invest in capable and experienced technicians, dedicated to understanding their client’s needs. An underdeveloped IT team may not be able to overcome common barriers in the same way that an experienced MSP.

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