Cloud Computing has been around for a while now. The idea of cloud computing is incredibly simple: essentially do what you do now, physically, and in-person or on-site, remotely, and over the internet. Brandon Parkinson from Cimlogic shares thoughts on business benefits and potential opportunities of cloud computing adoption.
It seems to be increasingly common to hear that companies providing products and services are migrating their platforms and technologies to the cloud and shrinking their physical and on-site data management and storage. As with any new technology, there are going to be risks and benefits, and in this blog, I hope to explore a few of these, to ultimately reveal why the Cloud is not so scary after all.
The growing availability of Cloud platforms for wider industries
What can be done via the cloud, and what the cloud has the potential to do, is growing all the time and at such a rapid pace that, it is becoming increasingly far-reaching in terms of potential. Cloud platforms are continuously adding features and functionality, forming a practical use case for a multitude of businesses. A few years ago, it was common for cloud computing to be predominantly associated with remote and online data storage, however, with concepts such as Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS), Platform as a Service (PAAS), Software as a Service (SAAS) the opportunity to do more remotely has presented itself as an increasingly viable option.
Cloud computing adoption presents manufacturers with a range of business benefits and productivity improvement opportunities / Picture: Getty/iStock
What are the business benefits of Cloud Computing?
One of the biggest benefits of cloud computing to businesses is reduced costs. Moving to cloud computing solutions may reduce the cost spent on managing and maintaining IT systems, and rather than having to purchase, setup, use, and maintain expensive systems or equipment that your business needs to function, the use of technology and equipment can be done remotely therefore the same purchasing, setup, and maintenance costs are passed onto the cloud platform instead.
Reliability & business continuity
The next benefit of cloud computing is reliability and business continuity. Keeping any business-critical systems up and running and consistently providing an expected level of service is often a business focus in terms of customer satisfaction, or in the case of providing software support and services, it may be a legal and contractual obligation. With cloud computing, having the opportunity to access data quickly, remotely, with multiple online backups data access methods available, is a strong reason to consider cloud computing as an option.
Flexible & efficient collaboration
Linking to the above point about having multiple backups and multiple ways of accessing data and services online, cloud computing offers flexible and efficient collaboration. This gives any business the ability to work more easily outside of the physical office, and to give teams the opportunity to share access to the same files and projects to further work together.
Access to data analytics for long-term improvements
Cloud solutions are becoming widely available to many industries, including manufacturing. Operational/production software in the cloud enables manufacturers to gain insight into their operational performance quickly and effectively. Having access to data analytics will therefore encourage root-cause analysis and help promote continuous improvement.
A quicker route to digital technology adoption
The emergence of subscription-based concepts such as SaaS (software as a service) enables manufacturers to adopt digital technology quickly and more cost-effectively, without the need to invest in a large capital infrastructure project with an on-premise solution. Adopting digital solutions such as cloud computing moves data into the cloud, enabling manufacturers to utilise data analytics to tackle business challenges very quickly and efficiently.
“I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster…carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison.” – Steve Jobs, late chairman of Apple (1997)
This article scratches the surface with regards to the business benefits and potential opportunities of cloud computing adoption. There is such a wealth of information out there relating to cloud computing which businesses should explore further.