We are in the middle of the next big industrial revolution i.e. Industry 4.0. It represents the rapid transformation of the manufacturing process with the help of data and automation. With major companies taking giant leaps towards automation and industrial IoT becoming mainstream, we have reached a point where it is critical to deal away with the limitations in IT infrastructure once and for all. Fortunately, cloud computing allows us to use on-demand computing power in a very flexible and scalable manner.
Cloud computing in manufacturing is not an option but an opportunity. Over 90% of global enterprises report using cloud computing for some business activity. It is time for manufacturers to prioritize migration to the cloud. In fact, globally 66 percent of manufacturing companies from 17 countries are already using cloud implementation. It is predicted that cloud-hosted services will account for almost half of all organization-level software usage among manufacturers by 2023.
Source: A research by the American Enterprise Institute on how Cloud Computing Enables Modern Manufacturing, June 2017.
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Why Cloud Computing in Manufacturing?
Cloud computing is not a solution but an enabler to implement other solutions that once required heavy computing power. Today cloud models come as infrastructure, platform, and services. Manufacturers can opt for the solution of choice and strategize migration in stages. This makes cloud a flexible and convenient choice.
Cloud allows the synchronization of data from multiple sources into a single dashboard. Hence it relieves executives from the burden of manually transferring data from one system to another. With industries moving towards automation in monitoring and control of plant processes, it is critical to ensure that data is same at all points. Cloud helps in synchronization of data by defining a single point as the source of information and allowing access to it via the internet.
The Scepticism and Confusion:
Thought cloud has gained tremendous traction, there is an equally persistent confusion as well. A study conducted by MintJutras on SaaS adoption in manufacturing, distribution and other industries, offered following insights:
- Overall 66% of respondents to the survey did not know the difference between single- and multi-tenant SaaS architectures.
- Within 10 years, SaaS-based applications are expected to grow from 22% to 45% of all manufacturing and distribution software.
- The 3 prominent applications of a SaaS solutions manufacturing and distribution include offering customers a measure to control over upgrades, steady support for global operations and support for rapid and frequent upgradation.
Overall there are many managers are sceptic about the perceived benefits and costs involved in moving to the cloud. There is also confusion among non-technical people about the scope and process of cloud implementation in manufacturing.
Where there is confusion there is scope for clarity. While it is easy to advise for cloud migration manufacturers might need to transform their entire business process to initiate this change. This calls for a proper strategy and skilled IT professionals. Securing both of them for non-IT companies is a challenge in itself.
We have a digital transformation strategy that you can use to ease your pain. Our six-step framework to execute digital transformation will guide you from confusion to clarity. As for IT-professionals, you don’t even need to read another article. At NewGenApps, we have worked on multiple cloud implementations and have helped companies to exponentially scale and grow their IT capabilities. If you have a project then feel free to contact us.