Based on the current trend, manufacturers are starting to embrace cloud computing in order to optimize their operations with the most cost-efficient option available in the market. But does the cloud lives up to its hype, and is it practical enough for the manufacturing industry? How will manufacturers be benefited from it?
Before cloud computing came into the picture, most manufacturers are having headaches in managing and maintaining their local IT infrastructure traditionally as they aren’t particularly IT-savvy. With the rise of cloud computing, there are fewer worries for the manufacturers as they don’t have to worry anymore about maintenance or troubleshooting the hardware. This means that organizations can outsource almost every aspect of their IT setup to cloud computing companies who will take care of all hosting and maintenance on the cloud.
On the other hand, cloud computing is making the manufacturers agile with it advanced technology. According to Forbes, cloud-based systems are faster to roll out than traditional systems, making it easier for manufacturers to keep up with new developments. They are also easier to customize and scale, and they offer the potential to increase adoption rates across resellers.
Cloud computing can be important to manufacturing companies in order to reduce risk and increase agility where a cloud-based supply chain solutions are scalable and also with the ability to establish collaboration. In addition, manufacturers no longer have the worry on insufficiently resources on their IT infrastructures thanks to the cloud. Furthermore, cloud computing offers a better redundancy, unlike an in-house server, for example, your production may be affected when you in-house server is spoilt while it takes time to purchase a new server and wait for it to arrive. With the cloud, you may connect to it and work without issue as long as there’s internet connection.
Another benefit that cloud computing brings to the manufacturing industry is that everything from software to raw processing power can be rolled out with unprecedented speed. As manufacturers may have some patented drawings or design, they may improve their security with the cloud. For example, according to The Cloud for Manufacturing report by Microsoft and Invensys, manufacturers that use cloud-based systems do not need to grant suppliers direct access to their internal network. By moving the security context toward a controlled external security perimeter, you can safeguard your internal systems while simultaneously improving your collaboration with suppliers.
Last but not least, cloud also benefits manufacturer in term of cost saving as it will be costly for setting up an in-house IT infrastructure as there is upfront cost on hardware and software, employ skilled staff to manage and maintain it, electricity cost, etc. With cloud computing, there won’t be any upfront cost as it’s a pay-per-use model which makes it more affordable.