Manufacturers are finding that cloud software and technology can help them meet their needs while keeping costs under control by improving operations.
Over the past decade, cloud computing has become commonplace in various industries. For example, online shopping is almost always done using a cloud-based e-commerce platform and paying bills online is now the norm. Despite this trend towards cloud computing, manufacturers have not transitioned entirely because they’re wary of the security risks of storing data remotely.
Here are some of the reasons manufacturers hesitate to adopt cloud computing:
- They are not eager to give up the legacy applications they have been using for many years and do not see any reason to change. They have invested a lot of time and money in their existing infrastructure and software, which makes it difficult for them to adopt new technologies.
- They are not confident that the cloud is secure. Storing their applications and data on a remote computer system seems risky to them.
- Many manufacturers are reluctant to entrust their sensitive financial, commercial and competitive information to third-party providers without experience.
- Many of them are concerned about the complexity of cloud offerings and the ability of these offerings to meet their needs.
- Despite the many reasons for not adopting cloud computing, manufacturers are wise to keep up with the times and competition, ensure they are not falling behind, and increase their awareness of the benefits of adopting cloud.
According to a Technology Business Research (TBR) report, recent advancements in cloud computing capabilities—especially security, disaster recovery, integration, and business performance continuity—have eroded some of the caution manufacturers have practised.
No reason to delay
Cloud-based ERP solutions are a suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications that can be accessed via a browser. These applications do not need to be installed on client computers, and the software is hosted on vendors’ servers, which third-party experts maintain. Access to the applications is typically offered on a per-user, per-month basis.
Cloud computing solutions offer significant benefits, including reduced operating costs, improved visibility and collaboration capabilities, increased automation, and more. Now, we will examine some issues raised at the beginning of this blog and look at how cloud-based ERP solutions can deliver benefits that mitigate manufacturers’ hesitation or nervousness about moving from legacy systems, security, scalability and their ability to fit their unique needs.
Legacy systems can be replaced without difficulty.
Manufacturers are understandably reluctant to abandon legacy systems. However, they are ignoring the drawbacks of continuing to use them. These applications were built with tools that rely on proprietary programming languages and management strategies; moreover, everything may work as long as everything else is functioning as expected.
Legacy systems are those that were developed in-house and have been maintained over many years. The original developers and support staff may have retired or left the company, so knowledge to troubleshoot and fix even minor glitches has to be sought from external sources, which is expensive. And since these are older applications will require more senior technical environments, including legacy operating systems, databases, libraries or specific hardware. As applications grow more expensive to maintain as they age, so does the underlying infrastructure.
Legacy systems are usually homegrown and used for years without documentation. The original developers are often long gone, and their replacements may not have the experience to troubleshoot problems or even the technical knowledge to upgrade the system. It can make upgrades costly as well as time-consuming.
The advantages of modern, cloud-based applications over legacy systems are many. Modern applications are easier to customize, have an open API that allows for integration with other smaller applications, and are developed using standard tools and programming languages. It is far easier to purchase only the parts of an extensive application that your organization needs rather than purchasing an extensive application that covers every eventuality.
The cloud-based software deployment and maintenance model removes the requirement for in-house hardware and software expertise. It also enables seamless scalability and growth. Manufacturers can hire new employees without buying additional hardware or software licenses, have IT professionals install and set up the new systems, or be concerned about where their employees will access the system. It leads to greater agility when scaling up or down as demand or opportunity dictates and increased accessibility to international markets.
You can secure your system.
Technology Evaluation Center’s survey results indicate that the most significant concerns with cloud-based ERP software are security-related, specifically, data loss. However, historically, the biggest causes of data loss have been hardware failure and human error, which are less likely to occur in the cloud than on-premises.
Cloud-based ERP solutions are built to meet the highest security standards. Most providers offer certifications from independent testing labs and have highly secure data centres with 24/7 monitoring, fingerprint locks, and armed guards. They also have features like encrypted communication and strong password practices to provide end-to-end protection. In addition, they have a continuous backup in place to avoid hardware failure and accidental deletion of data and rapid recovery for any issues.
Overall, cloud providers offer a higher level of security than most on-site data centres. Since the risk of a breach is lower than you might think, it’s best to go with a cloud provider.
Some ERP users hesitate to run their operations over the Internet. Still, with the evolution of better high-speed Internet technology like fibre optic cable and redundant connections, the risk of losing Internet connectivity has been reduced dramatically in recent years, and cloud providers have backup power and multiple-site redundancy built in to ensure uninterrupted access to your systems.
Our services are designed to meet your unique requirements.
While some manufacturers have niche products and unique processes, most ERP providers have products that cater to specific verticals. For example, an ERP application for the automobile industry may differ from one for food; therefore, it is easy to find specialized products that fit a particular industry – automotive, food, chemical, paint, etc. Some ERP providers even focus on micro-verticals like frozen foods or meat processing.
Tayana Solutions is a Gold Certified VAR and ISV partner of Acumatica. We provide software consulting services to the manufacturing industry, specializing in production management, process manufacturing, and quality control. Please visit www.TayanaSolutions.com for more information regarding our software products and services.
Vijay comes with a vast experience in ERP and enterprise solutions space with about 20 years of experience in various packaged application like Acumatica, SAP, Orion, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and, SalesLogix.