Microsoft Trusted Cloud for Manufacturing

Two people using HoloLens 2 while working on a machine.

Enable manufacturing success with cloud-powered solutions

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has taken hold across the globe. Manufacturers—from discrete to energy to agrochemicals—have moved from early experiments with IoT and machine learning to a state of rapid adoption and scale. Advanced technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, mixed reality, and digital twin enable manufacturers to enhance digital factories, monetize connected products and services, create new service lines, reduce costs, become more sustainable, and comply with regulations.

This innovation results in an overwhelming amount of data to collect, understand, and act on. Unlocking the full potential of this data may require compliance with regulatory requirements such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets a new bar for data privacy, security, and compliance.

Microsoft has a history of advising customers on how to comply with complex regulations. For example, we are committed to helping manufacturing customers understand the GDPR and its implications. We offer insight on developing strategies to move toward GDPR compliance and provide the tools and capabilities to accelerate the journey. Our broad suite of cloud products and services are built from the ground up to address the most rigorous security and privacy demands.


Digital transformation helps industries and businesses capitalize on new opportunities and innovations around the globe. However, becoming a digital enterprise requires more than just implementing new technologies. Manufacturers must also navigate a complex world of legal risk and compliance in their journey.


To help business leaders, Microsoft offers cutting-edge and trusted manufacturing cloud solutions that comply with regulations such as the GDPR. These solutions can help manufacturers digitally transform and comply with industry regulations as a cloud-first enterprise.


The Digital Transformation in the Cloud e-book provides business leaders and their legal and compliance advisers with a framework for thinking about the strategic implications of digital transformation. It includes a discussion of topics such as privacy, security, trust, compliance with new regulations such as the GDPR, and corporate social responsibility issues.


Cloud-based technologies such as AI are evolving at an incredibly rapid pace, leading to additional challenges such as cybersecurity, the potential impact of technologies on the labor market, and the need for digital re-skilling. We believe that governments, industry, and civil society have important roles in realizing the opportunities and addressing the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


To meet these challenges, we updated A Cloud for Global Good, a policy roadmap for governments and industries around the world. We hope that the digital transformation guide and cloud policy roadmap will help our customers—in both the public and private sectors—build cloud-powered solutions that are trusted, responsible, and available to everyone.


At Microsoft, we understand that our role is more than just a solutions provider. As a trusted partner, we’re committed to taking a holistic and multifaceted approach to enable a smooth digital transformation journey for our customers.

In the past few years, cyberattacks have inflicted economic harm, put lives at risk, and undermined trust in a secure internet and cloud computing. These damaging attacks brought security to the forefront, with breaches affecting millions of users across industries.


The losses are staggering: Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Cybersecurity is now a top concern for the public (citizens and our customers), executives, businesses, and governments worldwide.


At Microsoft, we’ve been actively involved with data security since we created Trustworthy Computing in 2002. We developed the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) process to enable development of software that can withstand malicious attacks.


Since then, we’ve strengthened security across all the critical endpoints of today’s cloud-first, mobile-first world and across platforms and complex environments. We introduced new services such as Microsoft Cloud App Security, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, and Office 365 Advanced Security Management. We infuse intelligence into our security services, including Azure Security Center, and Azure ATP.


We’re dedicated to enabling security for the digital enterprise. Microsoft forged tight connections within the cybersecurity industry by adding FireEye iSIGHT Threat Intelligence to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and collaborates across Enterprise Mobility + Security with both Lookout and Ping Identity.


Microsoft invests $1 billion annually in cybersecurity, which includes providing a comprehensive security platform, developing new technologies, and partnering broadly with the industry. Our approach is to protect, detect, and respond to security threats:

  • Protect all endpoints, from sensors and datacenters to identities and SaaS applications.
  • Detect threats using the scale and intelligence of the cloud, machine learning, and behavioral monitoring.
  • Respond quickly and comprehensively and empower our customers with insights that are actionable and holistic.

In addition, Microsoft invests in and develops security technologies such as Azure Sphere to secure the cloud and the edge. We continue to advance the creation of a Digital Geneva Convention to protect civilians in cyberspace in times of peace, and we recently signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord to advance online security and resiliency around the world. The Cybersecurity Tech Accord—also signed by manufacturers such as ABB, Dell, and HP—is the first global, industry-led initiative to establish these four cybersecurity principles for the tech sector:

  • Protect all our users and customers.
  • Oppose efforts to attack innocent citizens and enterprises from anywhere.
  • Empower users, customers, and developers to strengthen cybersecurity protection.
  • Partner with each other and with other like-minded groups to enhance cybersecurity. This is an important step that already has broad support from many of the tech sector’s leaders and cybersecurity firms. In the near future, we’re confident that these numbers will increase.

Learn more about Cybercrime and Cybersecurity

The number of connected and intelligent devices is rapidly increasing around the world. A critical building block that manufacturers can leverage is the OPC Foundation’s OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) standard. This standard ensures the secure and reliable exchange of data between millions of applications and industrial equipment.


Microsoft is a longstanding partner with the OPC Foundation and is deeply committed to OPC UA. Our collaboration started in 1994, involving the OLE for Process Control specification for Windows. It has since included key initiatives such as our support for platform-neutral OPC UA across IoT offerings, including Azure IoT Suite and Universal Windows Platform, and our contribution of a .NET Standard reference stack to the OPC Foundation GitHub open source.


By leveraging OPC UA and Microsoft technologies, manufacturers have a safer path to gaining valuable business insights using data from connected products and services.

Today, almost every manufacturing customer that is digitally transforming becomes partly a software company. Our customers are not only transforming their own operations with our software and services, they are also collaborating with Microsoft consultants and engineers to create new digital solutions that run on our platforms. Technical advancements, the adoption of cloud services, data analytics, and artificial intelligence will accelerate this phenomenon.


With increasing customer collaboration comes more questions regarding who owns specific patents and the resulting intellectual property (IP). To address these questions and to provide clarity and confidence to our customers, we developed a set of principles for co-created technology and IP. The Shared Innovation Initiative is designed to strike a healthy balance that will both help our customers grow their businesses through technology and enable Microsoft to continue to improve our platform products.

Two people working in a manufacturing environment wearing protective glasses.

The digital transformation of manufacturing

Harnessing the power of the cloud to drive regulatory compliance explores how the cloud and AI helps manufacturers—particularly discrete, chemical, agrochemical, and energy—thrive in complex compliance environments.

Additional resources

Customer stories

Digital empowerment video podcast series: Strategies for leaders

Cybercrime and cybersecurity


Microsoft discrete manufacturing solutions

Microsoft chemicals and agrochemicals solutions


ISO/IEC 27001

ISO/IEC 27018

SOC 1, 2, and 3