ISG Sees Pandemic as Catalyst for Smart Manufacturing

Experts with ISG say challenges faced during COVID-19 are accelerating adoption of digital technologies in manufacturing sector

Leaders with Siemens, Jabil, GE, Georgia-Pacific, Nestlé, ExxonMobil, Air Liquide and AES will explore Industry 4.0 and 5.0 at ISG TechXchange: Smart Manufacturing event, April 13-14

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$III #AESCorp–Experts with Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, believe the pandemic will serve as a catalyst for moving smart manufacturing technologies beyond the proof-of-concept stage to full-scale implementation in the coming years.

Despite a dip in investment at the outset of the pandemic last year, ISG says the challenges manufacturers faced as a result of COVID-19 will accelerate investment in smart manufacturing to streamline operations, add resiliency to supply chains and enhance customer experience coming out of the pandemic.

The future growth of smart manufacturing will be discussed during ISG TechXchange: Smart Manufacturing 2021, a virtual, two-day event, April 13–14. Executives with Siemens, Jabil, GE, Georgia-Pacific, Nestlé, ExxonMobil, Air Liquide and AES will join ISG to explore all aspects of investing in and implementing Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0 models.

Citing industry forecasts, ISG said investment in smart manufacturing technologies is now likely to top $400 billion by 2025, 30 percent higher than originally projected.

“Many experts predicted a long period of stagnation when investment in smart manufacturing fell by 16 percent between March and April of 2020 as the pandemic took hold of global markets,” said John Lytle, ISG director and host of ISG TechXchange: Smart Manufacturing. “Instead, the pandemic gave companies even more reason to reassess their digital strategy, accelerate their move to the cloud and lessen their dependence on specific production and delivery locations.”

As economies reopen, the demand for manufactured goods will remain strong as companies work to fill back orders, Lytle said, hastening demand for smart manufacturing technologies.

“There are high levels of interest in cybersecurity, cloud and IoT for applications such as condition-based monitoring, over-the-air software updates, remote and smart service and predictive maintenance,” said Lytle. “We see significant room for growth.”

Keynote addresses at ISG TechXchange: Smart Manufacturing will be delivered by Hanna Hennig, CIO, Siemens AG; Jean Kneisler, vice president and divisional CIO, Jabil, Inc., and Chad Toney, executive director of advanced manufacturing for GE Appliances. The presentations will cover how augmented reality can help frontline workers perform maintenance in the field or train workers using visual aids, and how Industry 4.0 tools helped businesses adapt during the pandemic and even accelerate growth.

A panel discussion on Industry 5.0 will focus on how humans will work with more versatile, intelligent and interactive machines. Panelists Shelley Peterson, associate fellow, augmented and mixed reality, Lockheed Martin; Alberto Cozer, head of innovation in manufacturing for Nestlé, and Adam McMurtrey, Mobil Serv field engineer, ExxonMobil, will share stories of how employees in their organizations are adapting to the integration of AI, virtualization and self-healing product lines.

Bruce Eng, international expert in smart manufacturing and process control with Air Liquide, will join Ron Norris, senior innovation leader with Georgia-Pacific, to discuss what “world-class IT” means for their enterprises, in a panel discussion covering best practices for delivering value and measuring success.

In a panel session addressing the implications and leveraging the potential of connected products, Ravi Prasad, global vice president of digital products and innovation for AES Corp., will discuss the role of customer data and behavior in continuous improvement.

ISG events include keynote addresses, panel discussions and fireside chats, along with the ISG Innovation Lab, which offers participants a chance to explore emerging products and technologies.

ISG TechXchange: Smart Manufacturing is sponsored by Cognizant and OutSystems. Women in Manufacturing is the media partner for the event. Additional information and event registration is available on the event website.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit


Will Thoretz, ISG

+1 203 517 3119

Cait Buckley, Matter Communications for ISG

+1 617 874 5214

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