What makes the cloud such a game changer for the IIoT and digital transformation? I see many people describing the cloud revolution, but most of them don’t quite touch on why the cloud is changing how businesses operate.
As I discussed in my last blog post, it’s most important to focus on the business objectives to ensure you’re driving value from the IIoT. From a purely business perspective, the one key factor that makes the cloud a game-changer is its flexibility. Cloud technology delivers incredible flexibility at both a technical and commercial level. This can fundamentally transform business operations and allow industry to take advantage of new opportunities.
The cloud offers the ability for companies to experiment with on-premise, cloud and/or hybrid deployments. This is possible across fields as varied as process design, HMI visualization, data analysis and manufacturing operations management. Now companies can explore deploying solutions in the configuration that makes the most sense for their business – irrespective of industry.
For instance, consider data collection and analysis. Currently most businesses are capturing data from their processes and sensors through a process historian on-premise. However, it makes sense to explore consolidating data collection in the cloud. Why? Because the cloud allows you to store all of your data in one place it enables easy extraction and analysis for applications such as predictive maintenance, and ready integration with corporate systems (ERP, SAP, etc.). Plus, with the cloud you can also benefit from mobile reporting and troubleshooting quickly and easily.
The truly great thing about the cloud is that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision. You can migrate your data to the cloud for lower cost and improved integration, or keep your data on-premise for regulatory purposes. Or, you can do both with a hybrid deployment.
In a hybrid deployment your on-premise solution pushes most data to the cloud while keeping highly sensitive data on-site. This makes your operational data accessible to engineering staff and business users, at home or in the office. The right information is given to the right person at the right time, so they can make empowered business decisions. This is just one example of how the cloud’s technical flexibility is changing industry.
The other side of the coin is the commercial flexibility that the cloud provides. With the extension of cloud computing solutions, it is now possible to run more solutions than ever on a subscription model. This means companies can really consider what they need, and then to configure a solution that fits the bill.
These expanded capabilities also allow for new business models. By only provisioning a service for as long as they need it, businesses can offer different consumption models. As an example, many manufacturing companies operate in environments with periods of peak demand. With a subscription model run through the cloud, it’s possible for OEMs to extend their capabilities by offering their customers services such as performance monitoring during peak hours. This new business model opens new efficiencies and more potential customers.
By combining this commercial and technical flexibility, the cloud offers businesses the ability to construct exactly the solution they need, when they need it, and deploy it however it makes sense to their business. This means they can truly take advantage of everything digital transformation offers. To learn more and get started on your digital transformation journey today, try our cloud IIoT solution Insight powered by Wonderware Online for FREE at https://online.wonderware.com.