on 18 October 16
The most common use of cloud computing is as an end result â companies supply infrastructure and platforms, then leverage the cloud for easy access to software and services. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a sensible model, especially for IT professionals dealing with pinched budgets and substantial corporate expectations. But the cloud is digging deeper, as a recent Forbes article reports, and taking aim at the ground floor of business process: Manufacturing. And thatâs just the start.
A New Frontier
Data from research firm MintJutras found that within ten years, 45% of all manufacturing and distribution software will be SaaS-based. And while thereâs still some confusion about the difference between multi and single-tenant architectures, it hasnât stopped companies from seeking out better ways to control upgrades, increase global support and allow rapid feature deployment.
Itâs a noteworthy trend. Historically, manufacturing has been the target of mechanical process improvements - the idea of distributed computer power as a way to improve quality and collaboration was typically sidelined. The advent of cloud-based innovations such as mobile business intelligence (BI), however, has given manufacturing companies the ability to track production at each stage, and implement changes on the fly. Product development, meanwhile, is assisted by the cloudâs ability to deliver collaboration over distance.
An Old Frontier
The broad process of manufacturing offers new ground for cloud computing deployments, but companies need to take note of a changing in the old guard â governments, often the last holdouts against new technologies, are also starting a migration to the cloud. In large part, this is a cost-reduction strategy, as federal agencies struggle to manage thousands of personnel and servers with shrinking budget allocations - in a global climate of austerity, itâs hard to justify massive legacy computing budgets. The United States army, for example, managed to slash $100 million in 2011 after moving to a cloud-based email system.
Security is also a paramount issue for governments. The FedRAMP program, for example, aims to help private companies make their way through the federal security certification process, increasing the number of available cloud solutions for agencies at all levels. In fact, thereâs now enough support for cloud technology in the United States that the government has adopted a cloud-first policy, which directs all agencies to consider the cloud before spending on any other type of IT.
The cloud has comfortably occupied the middle ground of business technology for the past several years by providing access to hassle-free software and services. Now, however, itâs reaching beyond, both digging deep into the manufacturing process and pushing upward into government cost-reduction strategies.
Daniel Clarke is the Director of Marketing for Dataprise Cloud Services.