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Improving customer experience is top digital transformation objective for half of manufacturers


68 per cent of manufacturing and engineering companies are confident about change as industry 4.0 advances.

London, UK – 23 April, 2018 - Britain’s manufacturers finished 2017 with the strongest three months of growth since 2014, according to the most recent figures from The Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing PMI barometer, as resurgent Eurozone growth lifted demand for goods[1]. Reflecting this recent uplift, research commissioned by Interoute, the global cloud and network provider, found that 68 per cent of manufacturing and engineering firms are confident about driving change. This is more than any other industry surveyed and above the European average of 61 per cent.

Improving the customer experience is at the heart of manufacturers’ ambitions to transform. Nearly half (49 per cent) of manufacturers rank improving the customer experience as the top objective for digital transformation programmes. Manufacturers and engineers rated this more highly than other industries such as legal services (32 per cent) and travel and transportation (38 per cent).

Increasingly, manufacturers need a digital backbone that provides the connectivity and networking which supports greater collaboration within the supply chain and also helps deliver a more pleasurable buying experience for consumers.

Interoute’s research found that the top manufacturing must haves for digital transformation are:

  • The automated scaling of IT platforms (66 per cent),
  • Securing the architecture (63 per cent)
  • Continual process evolution (59 per cent)
  • Digital platforms that can connect legacy technology with cloud applications (52 per cent).

Industry 4.0 is advancing manufacturers' ability to automate the supply chain and embrace smart factories based on the exchange of data in real-time. At the same time, the rise of high-tech and personalised features for delivering consumer experiences is also driving the need for greater collaboration with partners and suppliers. To keep new ideas flowing and speed-up product development, manufacturers and engineers will need to co-innovate and outsource certain areas. Currently, over half (56 per cent) of manufacturers – more than any other industry – recognise their inability to flex organisational structures to enable change as one of their biggest challenges for digital transformation.

An example of this in action is Danieli. As one of the world’s top three suppliers of equipment and plants to the metal industry, Danieli is at the forefront of innovation. Interoute has provided it with a high capacity virtual private network (VPN) to connect over forty of Danieli’s global sites, allowing seamless communication between all of the company’s sites, and moving data and applications closer to its customers. Alexander Stewart, Executive Vice President ICT, Danieli said, “Danieli optimises its customer experience by moving data and applications closer to its customers using Interoute’s network. Interoute provides us with a backbone that allows our users to have a positive user experience and our services to work accordingly.”

Lee Myall, SVP UK Sales at Interoute, commented, “Manufacturers are looking for ways to respond to customers with an ‘on-demand’ mentality and deliver next generation customer support. Digital transformation enables manufacturing and engineering firms that want to provide the exceptional and fast services that customers are now expecting. For example, in our lifetimes, we will see a supply chain revolution where spares and parts are ‘printed’ locally and shipped short distances, in a fraction of the time, improving customers’ experience as demands are met quickly. To be prepared for this change, manufacturers need a digital infrastructure that can connect legacy and digital networks together so they have the agility to embrace the latest developments and quickly respond to change.”

The results of this survey are taken from the report, ‘The challenges facing European IT decision-makers engaged in digital business transformation,’ that explores the factors governing IT decision-making and how senior IT professionals are preparing for change

Interoute will be at stand number R546 at IP EXPO Manchester on 25th – 26th April 2018.


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About Interoute
Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 15 data centres, 17 virtual data centres and 51 colocation centres, with connectivity in excess of 195 additional third-party data centres across Europe. Its full-service Unified ICT platform serves international enterprises and many of the world’s leading service providers, as well as governments and universities. Interoute’s Unified ICT strategy provides solutions for enterprises seeking connectivity and a scalable, secure advanced platform on which they can build their voice, video, computing and data services, as well as service providers in need of high capacity international data transit and infrastructure. With established operations throughout Europe and USA, Interoute also owns and operates 24 connected city networks within Europe's major business centres.

About the Research
The survey, ‘The challenges facing European IT decision makers engaged in digital business transformation,’ was carried out independently by Coleman-Parkes Research on behalf of Interoute in August and September 2017. The findings include feedback from 820 senior IT decision-makers in organisations across Europe with an annual turnover of 200 million to five billion Euros. It explored how organisations are planning for success in a changing world. It reviewed business confidence to the changing political climate, the impact that uncertainty has on technology decision making and how technology is preparing organisations for the opportunities that lie ahead.

Forward-Looking Statements
This communication contains certain forward-looking statements. A forward-looking statement is any statement that does not relate to historical facts and events, and can be identified by the use of such words and phrases as “according to estimates”, “aims”, “anticipates”, “assumes”, “believes”, “could”, “estimates”, “expects”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “is of the opinion”, “may”, “plans”, “potential”, “predicts”, “projects”, “should”, “to the knowledge of”, “will”, “would” or, in each case their negatives or other similar expressions, which are intended to identify a statement as forward-looking. This applies, in particular, to statements containing information on future financial results, plans, or expectations regarding business and management, future growth or profitability and general economic and regulatory conditions and other matters affecting Interoute.

Forward-looking statements reflect the current views of Interoute’s management (“Management”) on future events, which are based on the assumptions of the Management and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Interoute’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The occurrence or non-occurrence of an assumption could cause Interoute’s actual financial condition and results of operations to differ materially from, or fail to meet expectations expressed or implied by, such forward-looking statements.

Interoute’s business is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could also cause a forward-looking statement, estimate or prediction to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this communication. The information, opinions and forward-looking statements contained in this communication speak only as at its date and are subject to change without notice. Interoute does not undertake any obligation to review, update, confirm or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that arise in relation to the content of this communication.

PR contacts for Interoute:
+44 (0)20 7802 2626