06-01-24 | Blog Post

How Cloud Services Benefit Manufacturing Companies

Blog Posts

Over the past several years, cloud computing has seen wider adoption within the manufacturing industry as manufacturers increasingly realize the benefits of cloud-based services. One key aspect of manufacturing that has been transformed by cloud-based processes is the global supply chain; cloud computing has enabled manufacturers to better manage and streamline their supply chain.

Focusing in specifically on manufactures, Cloud Manufacturing; the sharing of resources, processes, and production on a cloud-based platform, began to gain traction in the early 2000’s. The known advantages are common to many cloud-based approaches: volume-based economics, shared resources and collaboration, reduced time to market, lowered development design costs, and enhanced market reach. On-going technology and process challenges can hinder some manufacturers from achieving these benefits. There are three legacy artifacts that can impact the evolution to Cloud Manufacturing:

  • Programmable Logical Controllers (PLCs), the brains for yesterday’s automation systems, can be challenging to integrate with new, highly efficient IoT systems.
  • Legacy and proprietary ERPs, resident in on-prem servers (or maybe even mainframes) may lack APIs and the ability to integrate to SaaS, Cloud and IoT applications.
  • Legacy systems many times lack the ability to integrate real-time interfaces and portals for shared partner, customer, design and inventory interactions.

There is always a great deal of anxiety around the impact and costs of evolution. When considering an evolution to Cloud Manufacturing it’s important to factor in the annual cost of proprietary IT facilities, labor and applications. Access and collaboration limitations are also pertinent. The flexibility, secure access, and reduced economics of SaaS drive the value decision to rapidly evolve to cloud manufacturing.

Manufacturing Benefits of the Cloud

As a manufacturer, there are many benefits that you stand to gain by migrating your services and processes to the cloud. These are some of the benefits of a cloud-based manufacturing process.


The ability to rapidly adapt in response to a constantly changing and evolving global economy is essential to the success of any manufacturing business. Manufacturers that fail to respond rapidly may end up falling behind their competitors, becoming obsolete, and eventually failing. However, switching processes is often a time and cost intensive task, which is why some manufacturers are usually reluctant to do so, choosing instead to maintain the status quo.

Cloud computing simplifies the tasks involved in switching manufacturing processes. Since the processes are cloud-based with minimal hardware, the cloud service provider can easily customize the relevant applications to accommodate whatever manufacturing process is desired


Developing and maintaining manufacturing processes is typically an expensive affair. There are costs associated with buying the relevant hardware, hiring the required personnel, finding the necessary physical space, among other things. These costs can quickly erode a manufacturer’s profits.

With cloud computing, manufacturers save money as most of the applications are supported in the cloud by third-party cloud service providers. The cloud service providers assume the responsibility for any needed development, support, and maintenance; the provider is also responsible for hiring personnel with the desired skill-sets.


The success of a manufacturer is directly linked to its performance and efficiency of its processes. Therefore, it is important to adopt models that enhance process performance and efficiency. Cloud computing enhances the performance of the manufacturer’s processes. Using the cloud, manufacturers are able to easily streamline their processes. The cloud also helps them perform data analysis to ascertain other strategies to enhance their business performance and efficiency.

The more quality batches that a manufacturing company can turn out, the better profit margin. We’re talking about economies of scale, but too many defective outputs can reduce the profit margin that comes with large scale production. Improving product quality requires cooperation from several different processes and teams within the organization. Cloud computing allows all of these teams to gain collaborative insight into the overall production process from start to finish, removing defective parts and fine-tuning processes.  


As manufacturers grow in size, it is important that they increase the capacity of their network infrastructure and manufacturing processes so as to keep up with the increase. Physical networks and processes have limited capabilities for expansion due to the limitations of their physical space. With cloud computing, however, there are no limitations to how much a manufacturer can scale. Cloud service providers can easily make the necessary changes to scale up as needed.

Like most businesses, data drives decision making. Manufacturing is no different. Cloud computing infrastructure can be infinitely managed and scaled to meet different needs for manufacturing companies, either for data processing, data storage capacity, or both. With seasonality influencers, infrastructure and computing resources can be scaled so that manufacturing cycles can become more efficient during peak demand and scaled down during lower demand.  


To remain competitive and relevant in our global economy, it is essential for manufacturers to frequently reevaluate their processes; processes that are no longer relevant should be discarded. Cloud computing has facilitated the development of newer processes and production models; 3D printing, Internet of Things (IoT) as well as industrial robots are some examples of recently developed cloud-based production models. By switching to the cloud, manufacturers are able to take advantage of these new models and enhance their business capabilities.

Additional Considerations for Cloud Services for Manufacturing

Preparing for Disasters 

Any time a manufacturing cycle is downed or prolonged due to data loss, the results can be catastrophic. Cloud computing allows manufacturing to improve the availability of this data via cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions so that downtime isn’t even an option. 

Optimize Your Manufacturing, Not Data Centers 

Manufacturing companies realize that their specialty is manufacturing, not information technology or data center management. Cloud computing allows manufacturing companies to stick to their core competencies while letting a managed service provider with IT expertise handle the data center operations. 

Final Thoughts

The global cloud manufacturing market is predicted to reach $111B by the end of 2024. That number represents a serious level of evolution for many in the manufacturing industry.  While Industry 4.0 continues to evolve, it is proven that the early adopters are reaping important benefits today and have an edge on tomorrow. If your manufacturing business is grappling with the technical, security and IT resourcing requirements for a move to Cloud Manufacturing, OTAVA® can Help. OTAVA offers a complete portfolio of PCI compliant cloud services, cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions to ensure your business (and its data) is always on, always compliant and always available. Contact us or email us to get started.

Additional Information

PCI DSS 4.0 and Cloud Services

PCI DSS 4.0, the proposed revision to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards V3.2.1, is currently scheduled for completion by mid-2021

PCI Compliant Clouds

Cardholder and other sensitive data can be secure in the cloud – and more highly available – especially when you know the physical location of your data and have evidence of the appropriate safeguards in place.

PCI Compliant Colocation

If you already own servers, elect to manage them yourself, or need a viable compliant and secure offsite backup and disaster recovery location, that’s right in our wheelhouse.

PCI Compliant Disaster Recovery and Backup

OTAVA’s PCI-compliant recovery sites keep your core systems fully tested, managed and protected.

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