From cognitive machines to green technology, a wide range of transformative technology trends stand to define the future and make a wide-reaching impact on businesses, societies, economies, cultures, and personal lives. As manufacturers struggle to deal with everyday productivity challenges, they are also faced with a number of disruptive trends that pose potential issues for the future of manufacturing operations. From the changing workforce demographic, to the push for mobility, to a significant rise in new exports, manufacturers must plan to address disruption on a number of fronts. Finally, the fragmentation of the manufacturing value chain has a part to play as well. In response to rising costs, the need to collaborate, and a call for greater consumer insights, manufacturers are moving from a linear to a more symbiotic, circular mode of manufacturing. This helps factories overcome traditional challenges with throughput variability, collaborative innovation, data silos, and a lack of customer communication. Ultimately, it introduces a new level of flexibility and customization that—like almost all of the key trends discussed thus far—relies on a constant flow of real-time data.