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Manufacturers are going to be leaning more heavily on their chief information officers as they pursue innovation in business processes. That's just one of 10 new predictions by Manufacturing Insights, an IDC company. According to the firm, the pressure on CIOs and information-technology organizations to demonstrate value "will not only continue in 2006, it will intensify." When it comes to spending decisions, top executives will assign the highest priority to projects that "speed decision-making and deliver new capabilities." CIOs will also be called on to provide leadership in the move toward SOA, as companies labor to integrate disparate applications into a single, coherent environment.
Global manufacturers have the chance to increase profitability by hundreds of billions of dollars, IDC said, by eliminating waste in the form of excessive transaction costs, inventory and information opacity. Look for agility and overall effectiveness, marked by efforts such as lean manufacturing and Six-Sigma quality benchmarking, to be supply chain priorities in the coming year.
In the area of demand management, customer and product analytics will take precedence, IDC said. The goal is to improve decision-making in customer management, pricing, promotions, inventory placement and related activities. Other IDC predictions for the coming year: Product innovation will get its own lifecycle. The cost of radio frequency identification will continue to fall, though adoption will continue to stall. China's economy will begin to overheat. Warranty and quality management will draw management attention as a target for IT investment. Continuous-improvement programs under the category of "Lean Sigma" will require software applications. IT spending will shift to "intelligent decision" models. And vendors will teach customers to "fish" for targeted applications within SOA technology.
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