Cloud software is helping IT business solutions significantly. They are speeding up business-critical functions, reducing cost, and allowing them to provide top-notch services to customers instantly. Although there are massive benefits of cloud solutions, the adoption is slow and gradual. Industries like finance, e-commerce, and IT were amongst the first ones to leverage cloud solutions, but others like manufacturing are yet to capitalize on the benefits cloud solutions provide.
Why is the manufacturing sector finding it challenging to adopt cloud solutions?
There are a few reasons that are holding back manufacturing companies from adopting a cloud-enabled ERP solution. Firstly, cloud-enabled ERP software is less mature than on-premise systems. This is because it’s challenging to modify the ERP solution according to the legacy processes rampant in the manufacturing sector. The problem deepens further due to the non-availability of APIs and other electronic interfaces.
Secondly, cloud-enabled ERP solutions haven’t reached a point where they provide a 360-degree protection cover for sensitive data.
Thirdly, manufacturing companies are learning the tricks of the trade and the art of negotiating the license terms and conditions with cloud-enabled ERP software vendors.
Why is the time right for manufacturing companies to adopt cloud solutions?
Cloud solutions provide several benefits to manufacturing companies. From R&D and manufacturing to sales, distribution, and customer feedback, they offer an all-round solution. They digitize the entire manufacturing cycle that makes it more agile, flexible, responsive, and adaptive to today’s needs.
Cloud-enabled ERP software is revolutionizing how products are researched and developed by using secured and scalable testbeds. They also can bring a significant change in how products are manufactured and reach the final customer. Cloud solutions are digitizing supply chains that help monitor them skillfully.
Technologies such as 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), High-Performance Computing (HPC), and industrial robots are the needs of the hour. Cloud-enabled systems will enable manufacturing companies to adopt the Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0 technologies and compete effectively. They will allow employees to work in a democratized environment that will bring down the overall production time and cost.
Instead of emerging as stand-alone software packages, cloud solutions integrate with existing legacy systems and bring massive improvement. They help provide access to business-critical information to all business stakeholders — frontline executives, C-suite managers, vendors, suppliers, and distributors. Moreover, they also monitor the changing market trends, trace competitor activity, and collect customer feedback.
Further, with the recent developments in 5G, manufacturing companies are all set to scale themselves rapidly. 5G will decentralize the manufacturing companies and change them into mobile factories that will perform business-critical functions by themselves. It will cut down operational costs and give a boost to the industry as a whole. Due to these factors, the cloud-based manufacturing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.9%, reaching $131.15 billion by 2022.
How will the covid era transform the manufacturing industry?
The covid-19 pandemic has been the darkest phase since the beginning of human civilization. It has taken millions of lives and has disrupted businesses across industries globally. But if we look at the bigger picture, it’s changing the way companies operate. Traditional companies that operate according to age-old practices and depend on brick and mortar stores to sell their products are facing challenges.
In the post covid era, companies will need to have a robust IT infrastructure fully equipped with cloud-enabled ERP solutions. These new technological systems will ensure employees work in safer environments, provide a 360-degree perspective of the market to managers, and allow them to adhere to strict government mandates and guidelines.
CIOs and digital leaders will play a crucial role in building the digital ecosystem that manufacturing companies direly need. It’s because they understand the nitty-gritty of the IT infrastructure, the technologies, and the operating models that companies need to realize the competitive benefits of cloud solutions. They know how cloud infrastructure can spur borderless growth, make significant additions to the manufacturing value chains, and make transactions secure.
How can cloud solutions help manufacturing companies?
As discussed above, cloud-enabled ERP software can significantly change the manufacturing sector by adopting the industry 4.0 transformation. The following points will explain how:
- Cloud-enabled ERP software allows using tools that require high-performance design tools.
- Cloud-enabled ERP software allows product customization and the use of smart manufacturing processes.
- Cloud-enabled ERP software uses data analytics to collect, analyze, and derive business insights through real-time tracking.
- Cloud-enabled ERP software blends modern technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machines Learning (ML), and automation to provide enhanced speed and functionality.
- Cloud-enabled ERP software develops a vibrant ecosystem where the workforce, vendors, and customers can interact, exchange views, and collect feedback.
- Cloud-enabled ERP software employs data-driven decision-making tools that provide better visibility and help form effective marketing campaigns that cater to the target segment’s needs.
Cloud-enabled ERP systems are revolutionizing the manufacturing sector in more ways than one. From additive manufacturing, the industrial Internet of Things, to generative design, the examples are many. Studies suggest that cloud computing contributes around 25% of the total inputs in the final product.
The manufacturing industry is replete with challenges like expensive IT infrastructure, technical complexities of ERP software, complex data management processes, time and effort needed to upskill the workforce, to mention a few. Cloud-enabled ERP software will provide meaningful solutions to manufacturing companies at reasonable prices. Their ability to integrate with the best-quality technology tools will allow companies to broaden their horizons, gather complete knowledge about their industry, increase their revenues, and cut down expenses.