Today, manufacturers are already benefiting from the cloud. They use mobile reporting, online dashboards and automation. According to MintJutras, SaaS-based apps are already 22% of all manufacturing and distribution software installed today. This will grow to 45% within ten years. However, the use of the cloud in this production sector can go even further.
Today, manufacturing organizations face huge challenges that the cloud is ready to take on, including regulatory and compliance requirements, the introduction of big data, a pressure to innovate rapidly, a global marketplace, security, and much more. While manufacturers have made small moves towards the cloud, they can now fully embrace it.
Why cloud computing?
Manufacturers face many constant challenges. They are increasingly compared to competitors and face a pressure to increase accuracy, process speed, security, innovation and more.
Cloud computing is a popular solution today that is benefiting businesses in all industries – and manufacturing is no exception. The move to the cloud results in transferring many responsibilities and costs to the cloud provider, including hardware maintenance and software upgrades. With characteristics like scalability, cost efficiency, security, centralized data and flexibility, it’s no wonder that the cloud is proving to be such a powerful force in the business world.
By combining cloud computing and manufacturing, these organizations are able to streamline their operations and business. This not only benefits time to market, but it also frees up time, money and resources for innovation. The benefits of cloud in the manufacturing sector include reduced costs, rapid deployment, greater innovation, increased flexibility and improved security.
1. Overall Reduced Costs
With cloud solutions in place, manufacturers are able to reduce both capital and operating costs significantly. These organizations, after moving to the cloud, use hardware that is managed, monitored and maintained by the cloud computing provider. Additionally, much of the up-front capital costs are replaced by lower, predictable operational costs, as businesses use a pay-as-you-go or subscription model in the cloud, which can be adjusted at any time. Manufacturers will undoubtedly see savings in IT labor, operating, space, computing resource, administrative, and management costs. As they see these savings, manufacturers will experience greater ease and innovation within their organization.
2. Quick Deployment and Innovation
Not only does cloud lead to easier access and lower costs for the necessary infrastructure resources, but it also results in rapid deployment. Ultimately, this supports faster time to market. Setup for production infrastructure can happen in a matter of minutes or hours, instead of the weeks that are typical with traditional solutions. This rapid deployment supports quicker responses to dynamic demands from around the globe that manufacturers constantly face.
Furthermore, the quick setup cloud computing allows leads to increased innovation within an organization. Manufacturing companies can more quickly access new capabilities to easily experiment, share and collaborate. These innovations won’t result in the typical significant costs or disruption of resources. Instead, they may result in a step forward for the manufacturer.
3. Operational Flexibility
Speaking of the dynamic demands manufacturers face, it’s clear that operational flexibility is extremely important for these organizations. With the immense scalability that cloud computing offers, manufacturing companies can easily and quickly free up the resources they need to accommodate demands. As demand fluctuates, it’s easy to scale or provision new capabilities.
But scalability isn’t the only way these companies can experience flexibility. Cloud computing makes it possible to access, use and share secure data from any location, on any device, at any time. This means employees around the globe can easily participate in remote operations by accessing centralized data and workflows, as well as collaborate with ease while avoiding travel and security issues. This brings geographically separate employees together, which ultimately benefits the manufacturing company.
4. Full Security
While security continues to be the main factor standing in the way of cloud adoption, it has improved immensely. The cloud makes it possible for manufacturers to extend their existing security model into the cloud and add to it. Additionally, cloud security prepares an organization for multiple threats through authentication, authorization and encryption on both the application and infrastructure levels.
Cloud providers know that security is a top priority for the organizations they work with, and therefore have made it their own priority as well. Providers have the resources to hire security experts and dedicate personnel, time and money to client security. This is more than a manufacturer is able to do for itself, so more often than not, these organizations experience greater security after moving to the cloud.
Cloud computing can help streamline the operations of manufacturers, allowing them to focus on developing new products and increasing sales. While improving manufacturing in the above four ways, cloud also reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing and supports an enhanced customer experience.
Manufacturing isn’t the only industry that’s benefiting! See more about cloud’s impact on every sector right here