Like all industries, manufacturing has faced unexpected global changes this year creating unforeseen challenges and adding financial pressure to their operations. This has resulted in many manufacturers reportedly expecting a long term impact on their financial stability through reduced orders and global uncertainty following Covid-19.
Added to this is the upcoming challenge associated with UK/EU trade negotiations, leaving manufacturers actively looking for ways to protect and future proof their business from further turmoil.
Naturally the manufacturing industry has been reluctant to embrace cloud adoption, due to concerns around security, disaster recovery and integration with bulky on site machinery and equipment. However 2020 has forced manufacturers to become much more agile in their approach to system innovation and process support. Leaders within this industry are starting to realise the benefits of cloud adoption through the flexibility and productivity it enables.
Customer demands have accelerated throughout 2020 and only those businesses who are quick to respond to this change in expectation are going to reap the rewards.
A cloud platform will enable you to pivot to changing circumstances with ease. You’ll adopt new technologies and implement new processes quickly, which will in turn improve your employee productivity and exceed customer expectations. It will fundamentally make you more competitive in a very busy marketplace where investments in technology are happening at pace.
By moving your critical supply chain and customer data to the cloud, you are also protecting it. Data security is paramount in today’s world and with cyber attacks on the rise following Covid-19, manufacturers need to be stringent in their data security measures. Whilst some leaders may have concerns around storing production data off-site, seeing it as losing control, in fact most cloud based platforms have invested so heavily in the security and infrastructure of their systems, that no in house solution can match their levels of security. Microsoft Azure for example, which is ISO 27001 certified, with Disaster Recovery as a service (DRaaS) also on offer.
Depending on your cloud confidence there are a number of ways in which to transition your business; including a hybrid approach where you move some elements to the public cloud via a safe and secure cloud provider such as Azure and some elements to a private cloud for complete peace of mind. There is not one fixed way when it comes to cloud adoption and it can be a gradual adoption.
When considering your migration to the cloud, it is also timely for you to look at current hardware choices, in terms of laptops, servers and even your phone system. All of these elements can be moved to a leased, monthly operating model, again meaning you can benefit from the latest technology at predictable monthly costs. Eliminating time and money spent on maintaining and upgrading in house ageing equipment.
A crucial consideration for any business looking to invest in new solutions is their impact on finance. The beauty of a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution is the lack of Capex investment it requires for adoption. By utilising the cloud, you can enjoy a simple and predictable monthly fee per user, meaning you know exactly your outgoings each month, eliminating the need to make a large upfront outlay. This also means you can easily price up new users from a technology perspective, so your business can plan for the future without having to worry about maintaining in house systems or systems becoming outdated and unsupported.
Once you have successfully migrated one or two applications to the cloud, you will have a proven model; both financially and operationally. Every migration after this will be quicker and easier to implement.
Unless you’ve recently made an investment in in-house infrastructure that you’re keen to sweat out for a few more years, now is the time to plan your migration to the cloud, either with your in-house team or working with an outsourced Partner.
Book a call now to find out to take your journey to the cloud, one step further or call us on 01392 796 779.