Cloud computing can prove to be a vital asset for manufacturing businesses targeting growth, one expert has suggested.
Sanjay Ravi, managing director of discrete manufacturing at Microsoft, said there are significant scalability and cost benefits for such firms operating in the public cloud.
And when aligned with the additional control and customisation offered by the private equivalent, this technology can make a real difference to companies operating in the sector.
Speaking to Manufacturing Business Technology, Mr Ravi said that depending on what fits the business best, firms could look at a public solution, or a private solution, or what is likely to become the most common choice - a hybrid setup.
"A hybrid cloud gives you the best way to balance risk and opportunity, and make cloud work for your business on your terms," he claimed.
Mr Ravi noted that manufacturers are leveraging cloud resources to support peak compute cycles and storage requirements with less capital expenditure.
Manufacturers are also integrating cloud services into their own products, and using them to support new processes and business models, he said.
"Cloud services offer compute and storage resources as needed," he stated.
"Cloud computing also enables manufacturers to run large simulations for product development, rather than investing in the physical resources needed for testing."
Mr Ravi said the cloud provides the scalability to meet the peak compute and storage needs, and customers have to pay only when they use those resources.
"This approach can reduce product development cycles and cost," he noted.
Mr Ravi said there are a number of ways for manufacturers to enter the cloud, but it often makes sense to start by migrating one or two areas first, ahead of a wider implementation.
"One of the best places to start is by migrating productivity and collaboration systems to the cloud," he stated.
"For instance, Freescale Semiconductor moved enterprise email to the cloud with Office 365, and provides the same service at half the cost."
Find out more about how Microsoft's range of cloud services can help your company grow.
Posted by Alex Boardman