QiSOFT Blog - The Cloud in Manufacturing

29 March, 2022

How The Cloud is Changing Manufacturing 

Introduction

In this article, we will explore the use of cloud computing in manufacturing. The growth and expansion of the "Digital Revolution" has been a significant contributor to recent changes in the way business is conducted. Cloud computing enables businesses to store their data remotely and access it from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows companies to operate more efficiently by reducing operating costs and increasing flexibility.

The cloud has already had a noticeable impact on the manufacturing industry and is poised to have an even bigger impact in the future. Manufacturing companies are using the cloud to increase collaboration, improve communication, and reduce costs. In addition, the cloud is enabling manufacturers to become more agile and responsive to market changes.

What is the cloud, and how does it work?

The cloud is a more imaginative name for a remote server that stores and processes your data. Think of it as your server in the sky. This means that companies no longer have to rely on expensive on-site hardware to do the job. The cloud is changing the way manufacturers do business by enabling them to access data and applications from anywhere in the world. 

The cloud and Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution, and is in part being driven by the rise of the cloud. This revolution is all about digital transformation, which is the process of converting your business into a digitally focused operation. The cloud is integral to this transformation because it provides the infrastructure and platform that enables you to store, manage, and analyze data from anywhere.

Digital transformation is essential for manufacturers because it allows them to optimize their operations and become more agile and responsive to changes in the marketplace. For example, by having easy access to data analytics, manufacturers can gain rapid insights into their production process that can help them improve quality control and reduce costs.

How the cloud has impacted manufacturing 

The cloud has already had a significant impact on the manufacturing industry. Here are some of the ways that the cloud is changing manufacturing:

Reduced Costs
The cloud enables businesses to reduce their operating costs by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain expensive on-site hardware. In addition, the cloud allows companies to easily outsource their IT needs, resulting in further cost savings.

Increased Flexibility
As the past couple of years have demonstrated, adaptability and responsiveness to change are crucial factors for the long-term security of every business. The cloud gives businesses the flexibility to scale their operations up or down as needed. This flexibility is vital for manufacturers who may need to ramp up production during a busy season or reduce operations during a slow season. The cloud also allows businesses to experiment with new products and services without investing in hardware and software.

Improved Communication
The cloud is a valuable utility for businesses because it helps them communicate better and share information. This can be especially helpful to companies with many people working on diverse projects in multiple locations. With teams scattered all over the world, it can be challenging to stay in contact without the help of this modern technology. Also, the cloud can help businesses keep track of customer information to provide better customer service. 

Data Security
Interestingly, this is one area that causes the most concern when companies consider moving to the cloud. They're worried about losing control of their data. However, the cloud actually provides businesses with a higher level of security than on-site storage because it uses multiple layers of security to protect data. In addition, the cloud allows companies to quickly and easily backup their data to recover from any type of disaster.

Advantages of using the cloud in manufacturing
As well as the reduction in cost and accessibility from anywhere, the cloud allows manufacturers to use SaaS (software as a service) platforms. And why are SaaS solutions so good? 

Firstly, no installation is necessary as you access the software from a web browser. They are usually subscription-based, so there is no high upfront cost in buying the software. Usually, the customer pays per user, so smaller businesses can benefit from using the same industry-leading software that larger companies use.

Secondly, these applications are designed to be user-friendly, so people with limited IT knowledge can still use them. Most SaaS companies provide online training and will allocate a customer success manager to your business, ensuring you're getting the most from the software.

Thirdly, software updates are automatic, and with new features being released frequently you know you're always using the latest version of the software.

Finally, they provide a single view of the customer. This is really beneficial for customer service and sales teams as it allows them to have a 360-degree view of the customer and all interactions with your company in one place. With manufacturing companies, having complete visibility of the production plans and progress is vital for customer service teams and account managers to keep their clients updated on their orders.

Summary

Cloud computing is here to stay and revolutionizing the way manufacturing companies work. As a result, manufacturers can remain competitive and protect their long-term futures by taking advantage of lower costs, improved agility, and location-free working.
Moving to a cloud system can be an integral part of a digital transformation journey and essential for manufacturers who want to remain at the forefront of their industry.

QIS is a complete quality management platform for manufacturers. It is available as an on-site or cloud-based SaaS solution and provides quality management teams with live, real-time data for instant decision-making. Contact us now for more information or to request a demo.

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