Technology & Innovation

Technology and data: Driving manufacturing's future

February 07, 2018

North America

February 07, 2018

North America
Veronica Lara

Senior Editor, Americas

Veronica is a senior editor for The Economist Intelligence Unit's thought leadership division in New York. She specialises in market environment topics and trends that cut across industries, including the future of work, technological disruption, and economic competitiveness. In addition to these areas, she has led projects on advancements in manufacturing, historic energy demand trends, and socioeconomic topics such as organised labour, post-war impact investing and growth of cities.

Until July 2014 Veronica was the EIU's commerce and regulations analyst for 29 countries, mostly in the emerging markets. She has written for various EIU publications, on subjects such as financial inclusion, international trade, and policies aimed at attracting investment and promoting innovation.

Veronica holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in international relations from New York University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively. Before joining the EIU, she covered industries as diverse as defense, logistics and mining for a research advisory firm.


Both small and larger manufacturing businesses, the implementation of automation or other computerized, data-driven systems does not guarantee success.

Manufacturers throughout the sector are looking for and implementing advances in technology and production processes to improve their operations and remain competitive. This significant transformation in manufacturing, often described as Industry 4.0, is a high-stakes game that can be challenging for many companies. That’s because of the complexity of the disruption and the need to raise the skills of existing employees or recruit new ones.

But the search for leading-edge innovations can be seen in virtually every industrial sector. This can include everything from optimizing and accelerating production through new equipment to analyzing big data to measure and improve machine output, work processes, customer preferences, and engagement. These insights can illuminate new opportunities for manufacturers, such as potential offerings or changes in business models for improved operational efficiency.

Indeed, in a survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Prudential*, manufacturing executives stressed the importance of innovation. Nearly two-thirds of respondents have implemented industrial transformation strategies, and many have seen enterprise-wide benefits as a result.

Learn more by downloading our article below: 

Enjoy in-depth insights and expert analysis - subscribe to our Perspectives newsletter, delivered every week