Both on-the-glass and below-the-glass technologies drive digital experiences in manufacturing. Simultaneously invisible and immersive, digital experiences can also help manufacturers adapt to changing customer demands, optimize production processes, and enhance collaboration across the supply chain. Analyzing data from Forrester’s Consumer Digital Experiences Survey, 2023, we find that:

  • CTOs own consumer digital touchpoints in manufacturing. Compared to peers across all industries, where digital experiences are most commonly ultimately the CEO’s responsibility, manufacturing is different: Here, the CTO is far more likely to be responsible. Furthermore, production and manufacturing digital experience (DX) professionals don’t give their chief digital officer any ownership of digital experiences at all (0%), unlike overall respondents (17%).
  • Manufacturers use emerging technologies to enhance digital experiences. Using emerging technologies to improve digital experiences has numerous benefits, such as reducing latency, making experiences more immersive “on the glass,” more invisible “below the glass,” and personalizing experiences with context. While generative AI and virtual worlds are used as much in manufacturing as in other industries, DX professionals in production and manufacturing use virtual reality, mixed reality, and video analysis more often than their peers in other industries.
  • Manufacturers are good at data and analytics but lack other DX competencies. Data engineering is the top skill that DX professionals in production and manufacturing have in-house at a proficient competency level (54%), but according to two-thirds of respondents, other key capabilities of a DX organization are either not available in-house or not at the right competency level.
  • Digital touchpoints cause fewer internal tensions for manufacturers. The digital touchpoint landscape is evolving rapidly as consumers adopt new touchpoints faster than ever. While selecting the touchpoints most relevant to customers can create tensions within organizations, manufacturers face fewer internal tensions compared to other industries. Most notably, DX professionals in production and manufacturing agree less frequently than DX professionals overall that predatory vendor behavior results in a disjointed experience for customers (39% vs. 48%, respectively).

For more specific insights and analysis on digital experiences in manufacturing, Forrester clients can read our new report, The State Of Digital Experiences In Manufacturing, Q1 2024. You may also schedule an inquiry or a guidance session.