Research Finds 90% of Manufacturers Are Utilizing AI But Many Still Feel Behind in Meaningful AI Use Cases 

Rootstock’s annual survey finds that manufacturers with a Signal Chain are further ahead in digital transformation and better able to navigate today’s market  

Rootstock Software, a recognized leader in the Manufacturing Cloud ERP space, today announced results from its 2024 State of Manufacturing Technology Survey. This study assessed how manufacturers view their digital transformation journeys, where they are currently making tech investments, and where they see opportunities for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). Despite 90% of manufacturers utilizing some form of AI in their operations, the survey revealed there is a level of imposter syndrome when it comes to AI implementation and progress, with 38% reporting they feel behind their peers.

Compiled based on a survey of 508 manufacturers across countries in North America, Europe, and Asia, Rootstock’s State of Manufacturing Technology Survey is a follow-on to the company’s inaugural 2023 report, designed to uncover how manufacturers are progressing in digital transformation year-over-year. The 2023 report found that the top two barriers to digital transformation were a lack of cross-departmental collaboration/coordination (37%) and limited access to data (34%). Comparatively, this year’s report uncovered a clear shift to constraints surrounding budget/resources (31%) and time (27%), which emerged as the new top obstacles to digital transformation initiatives in 2024.

“Today’s economic climate is driving an urgent need for manufacturers to do more with less,” said Raj Badarinath, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Rootstock Software. “To navigate the volatile micro and macro trends occurring at a local and global scale, manufacturers are recalibrating technology investments and resetting what ERP means in the age of AI. In years past, they’ve hobbled along on incremental benefits from legacy solutions. But now they’re seeing the benefits of a modern, cloud-first, AI-ready platform approach. Acquiring these capabilities will deliver the benefits that matter most to manufacturers, namely precise control over their resources, the ability to adapt to ever-changing conditions, and more time to focus on initiatives that truly deliver value.”

Additional key findings from the 2024 Manufacturing Technology Report include:

  • Manufacturers are optimistic about digital transformation progress. According to survey data, manufacturers show a positive outlook on digital transformation (63%), with the majority feeling they’re at least on par with peers (39%) or slightly ahead (24%). 
  • Manufacturers anticipate significant negative impacts from current economic conditions. The top concerns were unreliable suppliers (39%) and decreased demand (36%). 
  • Investments in enterprise software are critical to growth. Over half (51%) of manufacturers are planning to increase spending in this area (such as ERP, CRM, HCM, SCM, finance), underscoring the importance of these digital tools for future growth. 
  • Cloud ERP is bringing manufacturers significant benefits. Manufacturers leveraging Cloud ERP reported reduced overall costs (56%), improved IT security (46%) and enhanced business agility and resiliency (46%). 
  • The adoption of a Manufacturing Signal Chain translates to digital transformation success. Manufacturers who have deployed a Signal Chain strategy are farther ahead in their digital transformation journeys (76%) than those that have not (8%).

“The Manufacturing Signal Chain has become a powerful paradigm for manufacturers seeking to optimize their digital transformation initiatives and bring to bear an AI-driven decisioning platform,” added Rootstock’s Vice President of Product Marketing, Stu Johnson. “Our survey demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach, and we expect to see early Signal Chain adopters thrive in the years ahead, armed with the data needed to make better decisions that drive growth.”

For complete survey findings and details, check out Rootstock’s study findings here:


In partnership with Researchscape, Rootstock conducted this research via an online survey fielded in February to April 2024. There were 508 respondents to the survey across 14 countries (Australia , Belgium, Canada , Denmark, Finland , France , Germany, Ireland, Japan , Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom , and United States) leading “digital transformation” in companies with revenues of $10 million or more.

About Rootstock 

Rootstock Software provides the leading Manufacturing Cloud ERP, which empowers hundreds of manufacturers to turbocharge their operations in today’s dynamic, post-pandemic world. Natively built on the Salesforce Platform, Rootstock delivers a futureproof solution. With it, manufacturers gain the agility to continually transform their businesses to meet evolving customer needs, navigate emerging challenges, and accelerate success. In addition, the “connectability” of Rootstock Cloud ERP gives manufacturers 360° visibility to collaborate with suppliers, trading partners, and the broader value chain. As Rootstock continues to grow, stay tuned to hear about its new customers, career opportunities, and LinkedIn posts.

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