Operational Excellence Survey 2019: Budgets, Priorities & Tech Preferences

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Executive Summary

To provide a benchmark of high quality information about operational excellence programmes, Verdantix conducted 284 interviews with managers in operations, asset integrity and maintenance roles. In 2020, operational excellence budgets will increase on average by 6% compared to 2019. The survey reveals a high level of buy-in to the digitization of operational excellence strategies. Ninety-six per cent of the interviewees stated that the availability of new technology is a significant driver of spending. Fifteen per cent of respondents think that digital technology is ’essential’ to their success and a further 60% consider it is ’valuable’. APM software tops the list of the most relevant enterprise software applications with EHS software in second place. Thirty-five per cent of respondents believe that digital twins will transform their approach to operational excellence in the next five years.

Table of contents

Operational Excellence Survey 2019: Budgets, Priorities & Tech Preferences
Multi-Region Survey Covers Big Spenders On Operational Excellence
Diverse Function Heads Shape And Implement Operational Excellence Programmes
Operational Excellence Budgets And Priorities For 2020 And 2021

Operations Leaders Display Broad Engagement With Digital Strategies
Digital Technology Plays A Valuable And Significant Role In Operational Excellence Programmes
Operations Leaders Perceive Wide-Ranging Future Potential For Innovative Technology 
Vendors Of Software For Operational Excellence Programmes Face A Complex Set Of Customer Preferences

Table of figures

Figure 1. Survey Respondents’ Business Function
Figure 2. Revenue Of Survey Respondents’ Firm
Figure 3. Industry Categorisation Of Respondents’ Firms
Figure 4. Geographic Location Of Respondents
Figure 5. Eight Workstreams Included In Operational Excellence Frameworks
Figure 6. Assessment Of Who Is Responsible For Defining Operational Excellence Frameworks
Figure 7. Assessment Of Who Is Responsible For Implementing Operational Excellence Initiatives
Figure 8. Assessment Of Who Is Responsible For Hiring Consultants For Operational Excellence
Figure 9. Assessment Of Who Is Responsible For Operational Excellence Digital Strategy
Figure 10. Assessment Of Who Is Responsible For Reviewing Operational Excellence Performance
Figure 11. Funding Sources For Operational Excellence Initiatives
Figure 12. Expected Changes In Operational Excellence Spend In 2020
Figure 13. Seven Drivers Of Investment In Operational Excellence
Figure 14. Eight Operational Excellence Business Priorities In 2020 And 2021
Figure 15. Digital Technology’s Role In Operational Excellence Programmes
Figure 16. Significance Of Nine Digital Innovations For Operational Excellence In 2020 And 2021
Figure 17. Significance Of Software Applications For Operational Excellence
Figure 18. Software Adoption Across Nine Operational Excellence Processes
Figure 19. Software Investment Plans For Operational Excellence Processes
Figure 20. Potential Of Integrated Safety, Risk & Asset Integrity Software Platforms
Figure 21. Challenge Posed By Fragmented IT Systems To APM Software Success
Figure 22. Future Requirement For 3D Visualizations For Asset Health
Figure 23. Future Potential Of Digital Twin Simulations
Figure 24. Centrality Of Connected Worker Platforms In 2020
Figure 25. Seven Evaluation Criteria For Software Providers
Figure 26. Acceptability Of Different Software Deployment Options
Figure 27. Drivers Of Spend On Asset Performance Management
Figure 28. Factors Holding Back Efforts To Digitize Asset Performance Management

About the authors

Sebastian Winter

Industry Analyst
Sebastian is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. His research agenda covers digital twins for industrial facilities, asset management software, and connected worker platforms. Sebastian also delivers market strategy, voice of the customer, thought leadership, CDD, and digital strategy advisory pieces. Prior to joining Verdantix, Sebastian worked for Trucost, a division of S&P Global, and held positions in China, Brunei and Kenya. Sebastian holds an MSc Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.

David Metcalfe


David is the CEO of Verdantix and co-founded the firm in 2008. Based on his 20 years of experience in technology strategy and research roles he provides guidance on digital strategies to C-level executives at technology providers, partners at private equity firms and function heads at large corporations. His current focus is on helping clients understand their market opportunity tied to ESG investment trends and their impact on corporate sustainability strategies. During his 12 years running Verdantix – including 4 leading the New York office – he has helped dozens of clients grow their businesses through fund raising, acquisitions and international growth. David was previously SVP Research at Forrester and Head of Analysis & Forecasting at BT. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University and also worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School.

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