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Ready, set, go! The digital race is underway. New technologies are transforming manufacturing at incredible speeds, and enabling industry outsiders to competitively enter existing markets. According to IDC, 33% of all industry leaders will be disrupted by digitally-enabled competitors by 2018. With new digitally-enabled entrants joining the race, existing manufacturers will be at a disadvantage if their businesses are not built with a digital core.

A recent Harvard Business Review article points out, “corporations weren’t designed to run on code,” which struck a chord with me. I have had the privilege to work for one of America’s great manufacturers, whose downfall has made headlines over the past decade. While many factors played into this manufacturer’s downfall, I witnessed firsthand how disparate outdated systems and applications negatively impact a company’s productivity, responsiveness, and bottom line.

Now for the good news! Manufacturers across the globe have the opportunity to digitally transform, and re-imagine their business models for the digital economy. The IT department does not have to be the bane of a company’s existence. With appropriate funding, resources, and executive support, the IT department can partner with the lines of business to simplify and streamline core business processes, enable value added activities, and ultimately, create competitive advantages.

Want to learn more about how manufacturers can thrive in the new digital economy? Join us for the SAP Manufacturing Industries Forum 2016 on June 14-15 at The Westin in Lombard, IL. This unique two-day event is focused solely on the latest innovations and extended supply chain solutions for the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers need these solutions today to build a strong digital core and become Live Businesses – enabling them to sense, respond, learn, adapt, predict, and Run Simple. Learn how manufacturers are winning the digital race with Live Business, and position your organization for success with SAP.

Visit the SAP Manufacturing Industries Forum website to learn more and register. Check out the infographic below for quick forum highlights. Join the conversation on Twitter using #SAPMIF16. Please note that this event is for manufacturers using or considering SAP.