17 May 2022
Cloud computing has been trending for a while now, especially with the development and popularity of the Internet of Things concept. That said, there are still new ideas and observations on what industries can benefit from CC.
Generally speaking, cloud computing is a term used for describing access to data online instead of physically storing them on one’s computer or server. Cloud computing requires minimum management from the owner of data, since everything is done by the CC provider and everything that was uploaded to the cloud can be used on demand from different devices. The concept proved itself to be quite practical, even with day-to-day operations and dealing with the horror of breaking one’s device and losing any sort of data.
Other benefits of transferring data to the cloud include the possibility of sharing your resources with multiple people at the same time, which increases the speed of many processes. Moreover the user is saving money, because they don’t have to buy dedicated hardware to store their data and hire people to maintain those devices. The expenses of physically owning a server can be high and CC gets rid of this problem. The user pays for storage and that’s exactly what they get, without having to worry about the technicalities.
During the pandemics CC was enabling mobility and in many industries it allowed employees to work from their houses in isolation. Relocation was not only a possibility, but it could be organized quickly, with just establishing some rules on communication and workflow. For some it didn’t even mean taking home their dedicated office equipment.
For production CC means improving processes that have already been automated. Whole manufacturing execution systems (MES) can be transferred to the cloud, which brings managing such processes to a completely new level.
The question remains however – how one could implement computer clouding into their processes?
Many companies need a steady stream of components used for their production processes. The usual idea is to have the parts delivered just-in-time or on-demand, to cut costs on having to store them. That being said, cloud computing is a perfect solution for communication and cooperation with some things being done manually and others being fully integrated with automation processes. It’s a great tool for project managers, but all people involved in production can see how deliveries are going and plan their actions accordingly. More important however, the supplier can get relevant notification in real time, so if anything changes CC can ensure that everyone is on the same page.
This one is really good. Cloud computing works great in big projects where a bunch of people need to be notified of what, when and how something is supposed to be done. With email communication it’s quite easy to miss something or someone. With internal programs being run on company’s computers there is a risk of someone important being out of reach. Cloud computing is great for reducing both of those risks, since it gives the possibility of having access from different devices. But there’s more.
Cloud is a great ecosystem for storing important data that might be needed just any time – things like schedules, inventory or information about planned downtime. This means, again, less stress for project managers and anyone involved.
Cloud simply is better when it comes to storing sensitive data. First of all – it takes the responsibility from the company’s shoulders, metaphorically of course, since the cloud provider is the one responsible for dealing with GDPR and other policies. The company itself doesn’t have to bother with firewalls or encryptions – people who need access to those data only need to remember their password to enjoy the benefits.
The great thing about cloud computing is you not having to worry about scalability. You don’t even have to know what it means, but if you are interested – the point is, that at some point managing your data manually would be either very problematic or impossible. Modern companies generate such numbers of data, that automating those processes is not an option, but more like a necessity. Cloud computing services can deal with those things for you.
As a manufacturer or a project manager who has been doing more or less the same thing for the last 20 years, buzz-words such as IoT or CC can be a little bit intimidating. The point is, if you choose a good technical partner, you do not have to worry about how the technical things are functioning; they simply have to prove themselves safe and effective. And most probably – they will.
Author: Andrzej Wodnicki, Managing Director at ITSG Global