Cloud computing is one of the biggest “buzzwords” of the year. It seems that every business journal is discussing the pros and cons of moving your business solutions to the Cloud, and every software developer is debuting a “new Cloud solution” every time we turn around. Affordability and adaptability are major winners in terms of business solutions, and the Cloud certainly delivers. Cloud solutions are not only more affordable to maintain in the long-term, but they also help businesses cut IT costs significantly.
These benefits have spurred businesses around the world to adopt Cloud solutions to help them better manage business tasks and store important data and information. As a whole, manufacturers have been slower to adopt Cloud solutions. Since its introduction, many manufacturers have questioned the security of Cloud solutions while others have been concerned that their up-time and performance could be compromised by transitioning to the Cloud. However, as software developers continue to move their business solutions to the Cloud, manufacturers are beginning to see the value of Cloud solutions and are reconsidering their stance on the new technology.
Cloud business solutions offer many benefits to businesses – particularly manufacturers. Let’s take a look at how the Cloud can transform your manufacturing operation for the better:
- The Cloud is adaptable and flexible.
The Cloud makes it easier for manufacturers to perform everyday business tasks. Not only are Cloud solutions adaptable to fit your needs (meaning you only pay for what you use – no more, no less), but they also encourage mobility among employees. Warehouse workers can track data on mobile devices throughout the warehouse while sales reps can access the information they need in real-time, whether they are in or out of the office. This flexibility streamlines operations and increases visibility among all departments and can even help you manage your resources among multiple business locations.The software can also be used anywhere. When a new company or location is added, all the company needs to do is plug in to the network. There is no need for the software vendor to be on-site. Cloud solutions, such as Cloud ERP, makes the growth process easier and allows manufacturing companies to increase their competitiveness.
- The Cloud is affordable.
Manufacturing and ERP solutions can be costly; however, the Cloud has made significant strides in making these solutions affordable for manufacturing companies of all sizes. Manufacturing companies that have previously written off ERP software due to its high cost are beginning to adopt Cloud ERP at increasing rates.
- The Cloud requires little IT support.
As we mentioned above, Cloud solutions are cost-prohibitive, mainly because they require very little IT support. On premise solutions require extensive IT support and training. IT staff are generally responsible for implementing, upgrading, and maintaining the solutions, as well as troubleshooting any errors that may occur. The Cloud alleviates the burden these solutions place on IT staff and cuts the IT budget significantly. They also require very little – if any – hardware to maintain, so hardware costs are also reduced dramatically. All upgrades and maintenance are the responsibility of the Cloud provider so you can focus on running your manufacturing operation smoothly and efficiently.
- Cloud solutions can be implemented quickly and have a faster ROI than traditional on premise solutions.
Unlike traditional on premise solutions, Cloud solutions (such as Cloud ERP) can be implemented in a matter of days. This allows you to avoid the lengthy and often complicated software implementations so you can attain your return on investment (ROI) much faster.
While we don’t believe the Cloud is the right fit for all companies, Cloud business solutions do have value and can tremendously improve your manufacturing operation. Before you consider moving your manufacturing solution to the Cloud, weigh the pros and cons specific to your business. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it make sense to move to the Cloud?
- Does our ERP software (or other manufacturing software) provider offer a Cloud option? Or will we have to search for another provider?
- Do we have the right skillsets in our company to deal with moving to the Cloud? Do we have the right people to maintain our software in the Cloud?
- Are our facilities set up to support this kind of technology?
- Are there any legal and/or financial responsibilities that come with moving our manufacturing software to the Cloud?
If you have any questions about Cloud solutions or would like to explore whether the Cloud is a viable option for your business, contact us today.