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Introduction to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing enables a greater degree of innovation and efficiency in computing architectures using its ability to virtualize computing resources and services. The reason cloud computing is so popular with businesses today is that it enables critical aspects of traditional business structures to be delivered as a service over the Internet. This provides companies with much-needed agility, flexibility, and enhanced scalability to grow faster but with more sustainability. For a complete overview of managed cloud computing & cloud technology, businesses can refer to Managed IT Services.

Companies make use of cloud computing in terms of software as a service (SAAS), platform as a service (PAAS), infrastructure as a service (IAAS), and the emerging field of functions as a service (FAAS). All of the above services enable companies to rent out virtualized infrastructure, production environments, software, and functions as directed by their immediate business needs – without any of the extensive upfront costs traditionally associated with investing in such large-scale infrastructure and services. Companies can deploy cloud computing with a private cloud, a public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment. Recent statistics from Gartner show us that spending on cloud services is projected to grow 23.1% in 2021 to total $332.3 billion, up from $270 billion in 2020. Cloud-based technology has become a dominant force in shaping the future of modern manufacturing. In this article, we will try to explore how cloud computing is playing a key role in manufacturing.

Why are Manufacturers Moving to the Cloud?

Agility

Cloud computing enables manufacturers to be more agile in their approach. This is enabled through continuous data collection on the shop floors and on-demand processing and availability of data through expanded analytical capabilities. This, in turn, enables manufacturers to make decisions in real-time and detect and solve issues in the production environment before they have a chance to turn into problems and cause work stoppage and productivity losses.

Cost Reduction

Since cloud-based solutions do not involve expensive upfront investments in hardware or software, the total cost of ownership is much lower than traditional solutions. Companies reap the benefit of paying only for resources that they actually use.

Elasticity

Companies have an enhanced ability to handle peak traffic and load times with cloud solutions. This enables them to easily provision additional resources as per demand and be able to conveniently scale up or down depending on market demands. This also allows companies to become more responsive to changing market scenarios in uncertain times.

Innovation

With cloud services, developers can effectively hand over the burden of managing IT infrastructure or data centers and simply focus on developing and managing applications for better business results. This, in turn, results in a markedly improved focus on innovation and result-oriented application development.

Global Deployment

With most businesses targeting a global presence in current market scenarios, Cloud services have a unique potential for businesses to reach audiences irrespective of geography and also to implement digital transformation strategies across their global footprint of different facilities.

Best Practices for Cloud Computing Deployment in Manufacturing

Taking Data-Driven Action

While data generation and production insights enabled by cloud and machine learning are certainly important for businesses, it is also important for companies to focus on building a mechanism that can implement those insights back into the business processes to generate better results. For instance, if the predictive maintenance model enabled by IoT systems generates an insight about a specific maintenance task, companies need to be able to build a process where that insight is automatically shared with the EAM System in order to create a maintenance work order – without the need for a separate work process or human intervention. For more information on intelligently designing data-driven processes in your business operations, you can get in touch with IT support 24/7.

Prioritization

One way of getting the most value out of the implementation of cloud services is to actually identify use cases that can be prioritized for the implementation of cloud solutions. These are use cases that can make the most impact in a business in terms of driving efficiency and productivity or revenue and growth. It is important for businesses to implement a phased approach in the deployment of cloud technologies. Taking a hybrid approach to digital transformation can serve many manufacturing businesses well.

Developing a Digital Culture

As already outlined above, implementing digital transformation and manufacturing is a long and potentially incremental process. This is why it is important for businesses to get buy-in, especially from the top down, in order to generate enthusiasm and awareness of the benefits of the cloud adoption initiatives that the company plans to undertake. This will enable the company to instill a digital culture in the company and empower employees through enhanced awareness and skills of how to use the new technologies in order to get the maximum value in their specific job roles. In fact, in order to achieve a successful digital transformation, companies must be able to establish a digital culture in their organization. IT consulting services offer an extensive Cloud Migration Guide if your business is looking to take advantage of cloud solutions.