So you’re thinking of leveraging software development for manufacturing, but unsure of what it has to offer? Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the benefits and downsides of deploying a cloud-based manufacturing software.
Cloud-based manufacturing software brings accuracy, operational efficiency, and agility with its latest advancements. No wonder manufacturing facilities are inclining towards technology and embracing cloud-based manufacturing software.
Why Prefer a Cloud-based System Over an On-premise Solution
Cloud-based manufacturing software uses a web service to store and share data across various points of production. On the other hand, an on-premise system is installed in-house and cannot be configured or updated remotely.
A cloud-based system has a monthly-subscription, whereas an on-premise solution has a massive upfront cost. Let’s dig deeper into the pros and cons of cloud-based manufacturing software to know if it is the right fit for your business.
Benefits of Cloud-based Manufacturing Software
- Quick and Easy Implementation: Cloud-based systems use the web, so you don’t need to invest in new hardware or wait for updates. All the updates are implemented automatically. It also requires less looking after as you have a dedicated vendor with round-the-clock support.
- Cost Transparency: Cost is a leading factor for manufacturers when choosing cloud-based solutions. It is also one of the most significant advantages of cloud-based solutions over traditional systems that come with a lot of upfront and ongoing costs. The expenses of traditional systems include fees for licensing, data storage, management, support, training, maintenance, upgrades, and miscellaneous costs per device. Also, if you find that the solution is not suitable, the upfront expense and fees are nonrefundable. But, with a cloud-based solution, you only pay a monthly subscription fee for usage. Plus, it can be scaled to accommodate the growing needs of your business.
- Security: Security is another advantage of cloud-based software. Withmuch mission-critical information being stored on the cloud-based system, including employee information, clients, trade secrets and accounting information, data security becomes crucial. With cloud-based systems, all the information is securely stored in the cloud and your data remains protected in different offsite servers with 24X7 security that integrates several layers of redundancy. Cloud-based solutions for manufacturing from reputed vendors have stringent standards in place to ensure data safety. Potential buyers can also have a third-party conduct a security audit. With cloud storage, the stress and hassles of running out of storage space are also easy to mitigate.
- Latest Features: Cloud-based manufacturing systems come with the benefit of faster updates. It means easy access to more features that can be leveraged with every update. The system enhances periodically and new features and functions are added. Some cloud-based manufacturing software solutions also integrate native mobile apps. However, this easy access may invite security issues if your employees access the company’s confidential information on their mobile.
- Seamless System Integration: Cloud-based manufacturing software is web-oriented. And so, data accuracy and integration are greatly enhanced. Advanced technology is undeniably better than older, on-premise software systems that are less accurate and lack integration.
- Physical Servers are Not Required: Cloud-based manufacturing software eliminates the need to install and maintain hardware in-house as there no servers. It is a significant benefit for business operations that had to retain hardware previously.
Downsides of Using the Cloud
While cloud-based software solutions have many business benefits, they are not without downsides. It is essential to know the cons of cloud technology before taking the giant leap.
- Ongoing Expenses: Investing in a cloud-based system is advantageous in most cases. However, you may want to consider your business needs, budget & monthly costs before making a final decision. As mentioned above, traditional systems require an upfront investment, which is followed by fees for updates and patches. A cloud-based solution only has a monthly fee for the usage, which comes with round-the-clock support. However, updates and patches could attract additional costs.
- Lack of Control: Just like cost, data security is also an advantage of using cloud-based manufacturing software. But, this does not mean that you completely trust your vendor to take complete care of your sensitive business data. Also, with the cloud, you cannot exercise 100% control over the privacy and security of your data. In such a case, a data breach can compromise the entire organization.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
After assessing these advantages and disadvantages, it becomes evident that while cloud-based manufacturing software has many benefits for manufacturing organizations, they may not be an ideal investment for everyone.
However, a cloud-based manufacturing software brings stability, scalability, and savings that make it the best fit for small or mid-sized businesses that are looking to hold down upfront expenses.
To maximize your ROI, you can hire an expert agency that specializes in software development for manufacturing. With a vast experience in designing enterprise solutions for manufacturing organizations, you can be sure of getting the right solutions at the right time and at the right price.