As one of the leading industries that was an early adopter of process automation, manufacturing is often ahead of the curve when it comes to seeking ways to improve processes — yet still has work to do in the technology adoption realm. While the trend for cloud adoption is increasing over on-premises solutions overall, some organizations, including manufacturers, are hesitant to make the transition to the cloud.
There are countless compelling reasons to transition to hosted enterprise applications. According to a recent survey from IDG, IT leaders at companies with 250+ employees, from a wide range of industries and company sizes, agreed on seven areas where cloud computing would benefit their organizations. These include:
Disasters, both natural and man-made, are inherently unpredictable. When the worst-case scenario happens, organizations need improved disaster recovery capabilities in place — including the economic resources to replicate content in multiple locations. According to the IDG survey, 67 percent of IT leaders cited disaster recovery as the number one reason they would move, or have moved to hosted enterprise solutions. By switching to a hosted solution, organizations get their crucial application running as soon as possible after an emergent situation, and are therefore better able to serve their customers.
IT leaders know that data and content are essential components of their daily business operations. In fact, according to the IDG research, 55 percent of survey participant listed data availability as the second leading benefit cloud enterprise applications can provide. Access to mission-critical information, when they need it, wherever they are, is essential for organizations to stay competitive and provide uninterrupted service. With increased uptime compared to on-premises applications, hosted solutions provide 24/7/365 data availability.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the third most popular reason IT leaders seek cloud solutions is because of cost savings. Hosting in the cloud eliminates the need for upfront investment in hardware and the expense of maintaining and updated hosting infrastructure. Hosting software solutions on-premises carries more than just risk; it carries a fair amount of operational costs. By hosting enterprise solutions in the cloud, organizations will reduce operational costs — including staffing, overtime, maintenance and physical security.
The IDG survey found that 45 percent of IT professionals listed incident response as another area where cloud solutions provide benefit over on-premises options. Large-scale systems can develop more efficient incident response capabilities, and improve incident response times compared to smaller, in-house systems. As seconds tick by, compliance fines can increase along with end-user dissatisfaction. So having a quick incident response time is essential to reduce risk and ensure end-user satisfaction.
The best providers that offer hosted solutions constantly evaluate and evolve their practices to protect customers’ data. This is crucial because 41 percent of IDG survey responders noted that security expertise as another leading reason they select cloud applications. Organizations with cloud-hosted applications can take advantage of the aggregated security expertise from their vendors to improve their own operations and make sure information is safe. To ensure your content stays safe, it’s important to seek cloud providers with the right credentials — look for certifications such as SOC 1 and 2 or 3 audited, ISO 27001 and CSA STAR Registrant.
The IDG survey found that 37 percent of IT professionals were looking for geographical disbursement in where their data is stored. In the event of data unavailability in a local data center, having a copy of the data in a separate geographical area ensures performance and reliability.
IT professionals seek hosted solutions because the best hosted software applications employ top-notch security professionals. Gaining access to these professionals’ insight helps ensure concerns are addressed and the software delivers on the organization’s needs.
In order to facilitate the best possible experience for your customers, it’s important to keep up with technology trends that give you the data and insights you need to provide quality service. For manufacturers, it means not only focusing on process automation on the manufacturing floor, but also within the internal processes driven by data. There’s a huge shift happening with how organizations choose to deploy software. In fact, according to a recent AIIM study, more than three-quarters of respondents from all industries are looking to deploy cloud software in some fashion. Forty percent of those surveyed plan to focus on a hybrid approach, leveraging both on-premises and cloud deployments, while 38 percent said they will deploy cloud solutions.
As noted in the seven areas above, the reasons for the shift to selecting hosted enterprise applications are diverse and compelling. The cloud provides users with greater access to their information, when and where they need to access it — and doesn’t confine users to a workstation. When combined with the other benefits of improved business continuity, cost savings, incident response, security expertise and expert access, manufacturers can confidently trust that their important information and content is safe in the cloud.
Tori Ballantine is a product marketing lead at Hyland Cloud.