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Cloud not ready for ERP in manufacturing

Posted on 30 August 2012 by Kevin Dherman

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While cloud computing is one of the latest trends in the IT industry, the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service is not that new. In fact, some of the underlying concepts of cloud computing date back to the 1970s with users accessing mainframes via thin clients or terminal computers.

Yet, cloud computing is not something that any company, especially those in the manufacturing industry, can afford to blindly adopt. The mission-critical nature of manufacturing operations and their systems necessitate a cautious approach and one that is not very open to cloud-based solutions.

Manufacturers are wary about a multi-tenant approach, which sees multiple companies use the same cloud services on the same platform. They want a service that is dedicated to them and tailored to suit their unique needs.

Mission-critical software like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) also requires an absolute certainty that things are running the way they should. Imagine the consequences to a business if the manufacturing systems go down for a few hours due to a problem with the cloud.

Manufacturers are also wary about who accesses their data when it is in the cloud. Another question is who owns that data? If a manufacturer relies on vendor X for its cloud requirements and that vendor decides to either move its servers or close its business, then what happens to the data?

In general, manufacturers are suspicious about the cloud for mission-critical applications. When you are a manufacturer, you cannot rely on a solution that makes every customer work the same way. You need something that is tailored to your specific requirements.

For manufacturing, ERP solutions in the cloud are a challenge for the industry and not something that can easily be solved with an out-of-the-box solution. While one needs to monitor developments in the cloud space, it is not yet at the mission-critical or customizable level that manufacturers require.

 

Topics: Manufacturing, Business software, ERP, Cloud computing


Kevin Dherman

Kevin Dherman is a Product Development Manager at SYSPRO, and has been at the company since 1999. His passion for software development started at a very young age, where he has evolved into a key software engineer/ architect at SYSPRO. Along with his team, he spends most of his time doing research and development – where he is responsible for investigating new technologies, integration strategies and development.

Before joining SYSPRO he worked at a SYSPRO customer, where he developed add-on programs, reports and is extremely proud of the Kan-Ban system that he developed. Kevin was involved with the architecture and development of e.net Solutions, SYSPRO Reporting Services, SYSPRO Office Integration and recently SYSPRO Workflow Services. Kevin has always believed in choosing the right technology at the right time – where the success of the modules that he has developed are testament to this.

Kevin often works closely with the Microsoft development team in Redmond, whilst in the RND stages of a new module. He is regularly invited to lecture at Microsoft Tech-Ed and Microsoft Developer Days too.

Outside of work he enjoys watching the English Premiership (an avid Manchester United supporter) and coaches both his son’s junior soccer teams.

 

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