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Executive Summary

This report provides senior managers in operations, engineering, maintenance, process safety, and data science and IT roles who are responsible for operational excellence with a benchmark of peers’ budgets, business priorities and technology preferences. The data collected through the Verdantix survey – from 304 respondents across 20 industries in 14 economic regions, with 84% representing firms with revenues greater than $1 billion – also support strategic decision-making and business planning by executives at technology vendors and service providers, helping them understand trends in customer requirements. Budgets for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024 continue to look healthy, with 95% of respondents planning to maintain or increase spend. Respondents provided insights into predicted spending changes and implementation plans for software and technology in 2023 and 2024.

Table of contents

Global survey of 304 corporate operational excellence decision-makers from diverse industries
Operational excellence programmes are coordinated across multiple functions and regions
Operational excellence budgets will continue to grow, driven by optimization, digital transformation and safety
Spend on operational excellence will grow further in 2024
Industrial firms are accelerating digitization efforts to address global challenges and harness new technologies
Corporate decarbonization targets, cost reductions and supply chain issues are top of mind for digitization leadership
Consolidation of solutions for asset management activities continues to drive investment in software
Operational risk and process safety management activities generate further demand for software solutions
Data management improvements and drastic advances in AI are forcing firms to rethink operational excellence
Multimodal generative AI will reframe the industrial digital twin
Industrial DataOps will maintain robust digital infrastructure for next-gen technologies to succeed

Table of figures

Figure 1. Revenue of survey respondents’ firms
Figure 2. Survey respondents' business function
Figure 3. Industry breakdown of survey respondents
Figure 4. Geographic location of survey respondents
Figure 5. Change in operational excellence spend for the next 12 months
Figure 6. Level of digital maturity for industrial firms
Figure 7. Factors driving digital transformation of plant operations
Figure 8. ESG and net zero priorities for industrial firms
Figure 9. State of software deployment for industrial asset management
Figure 10. Change in investment in asset management software
Figure 11. Investment plans for asset management software
Figure 12. Process safety management digitization goals
Figure 13. Industrial risk management software spending plans
Figure 14. Perceived effects of generative AI on industrial operations
Figure 15. Plans to use digital innovations for operational excellence
Figure 16. Industrial data management challenges

About the authors

Joe Lamming

Senior Analyst
Joe is a Senior Analyst in the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. His current research agenda covers industrial DataOps, AI/ML analytics and applications of generative AI for industry and enterprise. Prior to joining Verdantix, Joe worked in the consumer electronics industry, where he gained experience in overseas manufacturing, product design and data science. Joe holds an MEng in Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Southampton.

Malavika Tohani

Research Director, Operational Excellence
Malavika leads the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. Her current research agenda focuses on digital technologies for Operational Excellence including digital twins and software solutions for industrial risk and asset management. Malavika has over 15 years’ experience in research and strategy consulting. Malavika previously worked at Frost & Sullivan, managing and delivering advisory projects for clients involving expansion, acquisition, benchmarking and product development strategies. Malavika holds a MSc in Economics from Madras School of Economics.

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