Verdantix Operational Excellence Survey Reveals Spending Plans And Technology Priorities For 2021

London – December 23, 2020. Independent research firm Verdantix has released its annual global survey of 259 managers responsible for operational excellence at large firms across 22 countries, 13 regions, and 14 distinct industries. The interviewees – managers in operations, engineering, maintenance and process safety roles – expect an average budget increase of 10-15% in 2021 compared to 2020. High priorities for 2021 are environmental risk mitigation (66% of respondents), safe operations (55%), and worker health protection (47%). 

“Despite grim economic forecasts for 2020, 84% of respondents reported a rise in their spending on operational excellence initiatives over the past 12 months,” commented Verdantix Analyst, Hugo Fuller. “Our operational excellence global survey provides a unique insight into the planned spend on software for operational excellence, as well as the key technologies and priorities perceived by operations executives in 2021 and 2022.”

Key findings of the Verdantix ‘Global Corporate Survey 2020: Operational Excellence Budgets, Priorities & Tech Preferences’ report:

  • Connected worker solutions for health and safety emerged as the highest receiver of new investment owing to COVID-19 and the ensuing recession with 85% of respondents reporting new investment planned, compared to mobile apps (79%), digital twin simulations (78%), drones and robots (74%).
  • 44% of the 259 operational excellence decision-makers stated that they were accelerating their digitization efforts due to COVID-19 and the recession.
  • Only 3% of respondents reported wide usage of asset performance management (APM) software across operations, but investment in APM software for 2021 is expected to increase, with 37% of respondents planning new spending on asset failure prediction software and 35% on asset health monitoring software.
  • The most significant innovations for the next 2 years are mobile apps and digital sensors for asset condition monitoring.
  • Very important factors driving spend on asset management software applications are offline mobile apps (37%), open architecture to enable IT-OT integration (35%), predictive analytics (28%) and digital twin simulation (22%).

“Following COVID-19 and the recession, we find that firms are making targeted new investments in digitization, mobile devices, robotics, and drones and robots for inspections and data collection,” continued Fuller. “With the Verdantix operational excellence survey data, corporate managers can benchmark against their peer group’s budgets, business priorities, technology preferences and COVID-19 response while tech vendors and service providers can align go-to-market plans for 2021 with customer requirements.”

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