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Michael Alba


Auto Industry Ranks No. 1 in Digital Transformation

Digital transformation significantly accelerated across industries last year

Published: Monday, March 6, 2023 - 13:01

(Engineering.com: Toronto, Ontario) -- The automotive industry ranks first place in digital transformation, according to a new report from ABI Research.

The sector scored a 3.7 out of 5 on ABI’s Digital Transformation Index, which assesses digital maturity across seven criteria, including robotics, manufacturing process, software, control, data management and analytics, connectivity, and worker enablement.

“There are massive differences in digital maturity and needs across companies and industries,” says Ryan Martin, ABI’s Industrial and Manufacturing Research Director, in a company press release.

ABI says that the automotive industry scored so highly because of the pressure to keep up in the face of an industrywide transition to new types of vehicles.

“An industry like automotive is going through tremendous change in the shift to electric and autonomous vehicles, which presents a unique opportunity for companies like Ford, GM, and Hyundai to completely revamp operations as new cohorts of suppliers join rising OEMs other than Tesla, including Rivian, Polestar, and Fisker,” says Martin.

The automotive industry may be in the lead, but ABI Research says that digital transformation significantly accelerated in 2022 across industries. Electronics/high tech scored a 3.3 in digital maturity, and the manufacturing sector scored an average of 2.4.

ABI Research points to a growing cohort of industrial cloud software as one of the main reasons digital transformation is on the rise, including software for CAD, PLM, MES, and plant-scale simulation.

Despite these positive signs, ABI says that manufacturers shouldn’t charge headfirst into large-scale digital transformation projects.

“Big return-on-investment projects with undefined or lengthy periods of return simply don’t cut it in the current macroeconomic environment,” says Martin. “Manufacturers need to improve or maintain the current order of business through quick wins that solve immediate challenges and pain points. At the same time, suppliers want to ensure they deliver that same value to the customer. Level five, lights-out manufacturing at scale is still a way out.”


About The Author

Michael Alba’s picture

Michael Alba

Michael Alba is an engineer, technical writer and senior editor at engineering.com. He has contributed to multiple other publications, providing case studies and application notes, as well as press releases, for various products and topics within the realms of engineering, technology and design. He has an Engineering Physics degree from the University of Alberta.