These are pivotal times for hardware manufacturers. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated trends in customer behavior — such as a growing preference for as-a-service purchasing — and introduced widespread changes in workplace models. Hardware continues to be used in new ways: in edge computing embedded in smart machines like robots and autonomous vehicles. Increasingly, suppliers compete on customer experience, making their products easier to buy, use, and upgrade. This has implications for how hardware companies go to market, source their products, and invest their capital.
Hardware players can thrive in this future by adapting business and operating models and becoming connected enterprises. As enterprises, with front, middle and back offices seamlessly connected, internal silos can be removed, data is freely shared, and companies can truly focus on customer needs.
In this report, we explore critical signals of change influencing the global hardware environment and describe five strategic imperatives that can help seize the opportunities of the coming years:
- Compute everywhere
- Accelerating the shift to as-a-service
- Design for user experience
- Intelligent supply chains
- Meeting higher regulatory and ethical standards
We hope these insights give hardware industry leaders and stakeholders some valuable pointers for approaching the future with confidence.
Signals of change
We identify five major forces that are helping to change the way hardware vendors will design, build, and sell their products in the coming years. These include higher customer expectations for a better experience in buying and using hardware, growing pressure on supply chains, meeting growing demands for progress on ESG metrics, creating more responsive and resilient supply chains, and managing regulatory pressures. A connected enterprise can address these forces, helping to create a borderless, digitally-enabled organization that is focused on the customer.