Cloud computing: The next step change in manufacturing




The digital revolution is well underway. Innovation is constantly at the forefront of discussions. Traditional sectors like manufacturing now need to innovate if they’re going to survive at all.

The road to digital transformation does not start smoothly for those working in the manufacturing sector. They are under constant pressure to:

  • Increase accuracy
  • Make process speed a competitive force
  • Increase collaboration between the shop floor and internal staff
  • Decrease the time-to-market

Where manufacturers are at now 

For most manufacturers, their business processes will most likely be stored on premise with restricted access to applications and files from anywhere other than the office.

Their IT setup will look something like this; an upfront sum has been paid to kit out a full office. This kit is no longer efficient and can’t keep up with the change in software requirements. As the kit can’t be updated, neither can the applications, resulting in inefficient, slow running applications. But they can’t get the planning or budget to innovate accordingly.

This is where cloud technology comes into play as the next step change in manufacturing.

1. Improving collaboration

Enable better communication between the shop floor and office workers with applications such as Skype for Business and Outlook being hosted in a secure cloud platform. By taking these on premise applications into a secure cloud platform, you are enabling workers to pick up where they left off in the office from any location.

This collaboration is particularly crucial for manufacturers as they work on and off the shop floor between production managers and those behind the machinery. For improved efficiency, it’s essential that workers are equipped with the tools they need. These tools now need to be streamlined through the use of digital strategies.

2. Taking applications into the cloud

As mentioned previously, the lift and shift method of transitioning from on premise to a cloud platform comes with its setbacks. Not all applications are cloud ready and not all software providers enable their technology to have a cloud version. This is where managed service providers like Atlas Cloud step in to make the transition from on premise to the cloud. This transition has zero disruption to work productivity as users will experience the exact same desktop as they would with a local setup.

This method means no additional training is required to get staff up and running. As a result, productivity has seen improvements of 20%.

3. Integrating business critical data

Businesses can’t function without their critical data readily accessible. By storing and delivering all applications, data and email within a cloud platform, data is available on any mobile device to authorised personnel. This enables a more streamlined approach to business.

With our cloud platform, users have the ability to store data private, publicly or in a hybrid solution. This enables organisations to focus on business critical applications whilst providing the opportunity for global working.

The data is centralised, avoiding data duplication as there is only one live version of a document at any time. This improves efficiency greatly as there is no need to trace where the latest version of the document is saved.

It is also crucial that this data is backed up and protected thoroughly. Atlas Cloud offers bank-grade security and was the first UK managed services provider to be ISO 27001 accredited.

4. Future-proofing the sector

The issue with the traditional IT setups is that organisations are tied down with local hardware and annual licensing costs. In terms of budget, this means huge chunks of funding is used up on these resources, making it harder for innovation.

With cloud computing, manufacturers can take advantage of automatic, simultaneous updates with the ability to scale up or down depending on user requirements. This flexibility allows IT to work for the modernised workforce, not hinder it.

The modernisation of IT within the manufacturing sector is critical to drive innovation, improve efficiency and reduce operational costs. This also comes with added value to the customer of the product – with reduced production times, better communication and live updates made readily accessible.

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