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These are critical times for hardware manufacturers. The Covid19 pandemic has accelerated the development of many trends in customer behaviour - including the increasing popularity of the "as-a-service" business model - and also triggered extensive changes in workplace concepts. Hardware is being used in new, innovative ways and implemented, for example, in the edge computing of intelligent machines such as robots or self-driving cars. There is increasingly fierce competition in the area of customer experience, leading to the simplification of purchase and upgrade processes as well as the user-friendliness of products. These competitive and innovative pressures are affecting the market entry strategies, product design and investments of hardware manufacturers.

Under these auspices, hardware manufacturers can achieve success by adapting their business and operating models and becoming the Connected Enterprise through digitalisation and networking. In networked enterprises that seamlessly connect their front, middle and back offices, internal silo structures can be broken down and data can be shared. This enables companies to fully focus on the needs of their customers.

In our white paper "Future of Hardware", we explore the changing hardware markets in different countries. We also explain five strategies that hardware manufacturers can use to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise in the coming years:

  1. Ubiquitous computing
  2. Accelerating the shift to an "as-a-service" business model
  3. Developing with the user experience in mind
  4. Smart supply chains
  5. Compliance with increasing regulatory and ethical standards

Signs of change

We have identified five critical factors that will contribute to the transformation of hardware manufacturers' development, manufacturing and sales processes over the next few years. These are

  • Increased expectations of the customer experience when buying and using hardware,
  • increasing pressure on supply chains,
  • meeting ever-increasing demands for progress on ESG metrics,
  • creating more responsive and robust supply chains, and
  • Addressing regulatory pressures.

Networked companies can address these factors to help create borderless, digitally enabled structures with a clear focus on the customer.

We hope that our whitepaper, which you can download here, will provide you with valuable ideas for your business, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have.