Manufacturers who have complex automation systems, large tables of inventory and SKUs, or even proprietary IP and designs should look to the cloud for storing and backing up all of this important data. It’s much more secure, faster, and expandable than an in-house data center providing the same functions.
Since manufacturers have a lot of proprietary and critical information, including research & development, designs and schematics, customer financial information, and corporate data, they need to protect it and still have it readily available. Cloud computing lets you do all of that.
Here are four ways cloud computing can protect your manufacturing operation.
1. Cloud computing is more secure than an in-house data server.
One of the major benefits of cloud computing is that there are better, more powerful cybersecurity solutions available in a cloud system. That’s because the best cybersecurity packages are rather expensive, and many small- and medium-sized businesses can’t afford them. But on a cloud computing system, the security costs are shared among all the clients, which means everyone can benefit from the latest and best security software.
These cybersecurity systems use artificial intelligence to learn from past attacks it encounters, which helps it better fight off new attacks. In essence, the more attacks that happen to the system, the better it gets. An in-house security system isn’t able to learn as quickly, if at all, which makes it vulnerable to newer attack methods as time goes on.
2. You can run bigger ERP software with more capabilities
Inventory management, customer relationship management, EDI, production and other important ERP functions often require a lot of server and processing space, which can be difficult to scale up to. Or they can easily be run from a cloud server and accessed by people inside the office or in a remote location.
While you can certainly run ERP software on an in-house server, you may run up against some capacity issues if you’ve only got a limited amount of server space and processing speed. This can severely hamper your ability to grow and expand, especially if your IT specialists have to source new server hardware, evaluate it, order it, test it, and then properly install it. This can take a few weeks or longer, and the delays can cost you money.
You can also store all of your specs and automated processes in the cloud and access them through your manufacturing systems as well.
3. It provides secure backup in case of emergencies
If you’ve ever had to deal with emergencies like fires, floods, and other emergencies, you know the worry and anxiety about losing years of financial and IP data. This is why the most effective cloud computing systems are not only offsite, they’re often out of state as well.
After Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston in 2017, plenty of companies realized why having out-of-state backups of their data was so important. Companies that are concerned about disaster planning and recovery will make contingency plans to keep their most important assets backed up in at least two locations, and have it be readily available when the all-clear is sounded.
4. The cost for expansion and scaling up is less than new hardware
What happens when you need to add more output to your production lines? If you’re already running at full capacity, you have to add more machines and more personnel. The same is true if you ever want to expand your data center. If you’re already at peak capacity with your server capability, that could mean a lot of expensive new hardware, and if you’re really pushing your limits, a new room for your data center.
But with cloud computing, you can expand your capacity for a fraction of the cost and with a simple online order. The new capacity will be added quickly, and you can begin expanding into your new server space immediately.
Compare that to pricing new server blades, buying new racks, and replacing old hardware, and building a new data center just to use this new equipment. You could spend thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands, trying to manage your hardware requirements, or you could spend a fraction of that amount on cloud space.
As manufacturing begins the move toward digital transformation, using more artificial intelligence and machine learning in their operations, using bigger ERP systems, and even measuring their processes and production, manufacturers need to look to the cloud for their computing requirements. Rather than trying to provide IT functions for the entire company and keeping a small army of IT professionals on staff, you can expand to the cloud and serve the same number of employees and equipment with bigger, faster, more efficient cloud computing systems.
If you would like to learn how Value Global can help your manufacturing operation migrate to the cloud to optimize your operations, please visit our website or contact us for a demo with our representatives.
Photo credit: Mixabest (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 3.0)