Cloud Disrupts Content Management and Manufacturing

Cloud

  • The Most Disruptive Technology Ever
  • Content Marketing, Disrupted
  • Manufacturing, Disrupted
  • Realizing the Full Value of Cloud

The Most Disruptive Technology Ever

Mike Saliter, director of international market development for QlikTech, said that cloud is fast becoming the go-to tech model. Anyone can get their own cloud server running almost immediately. The broad menu of services available at any time and from any location has only continued to expand.

The cloud is not just diverse in its service offerings but in its disruption. Long-established leaders have to develop new ways of doing business – including what they charge, how they market, and the IT equipment they use. The top contenders will not be those that necessarily offer the best value but that are built through collaborative development and allow users to conveniently access the functionality.

“Cloud just might be the most disruptive technology ever,” argued Greg Satell of Forbes. “The world’s most advanced technologies are not only available to large enterprises who can afford to maintain an expensive IT staff, but can be accessed by anybody with an internet connection.”

Content Marketing, Disrupted

The enterprise content marketing (ECM) industry is being disrupted by cloud and the rise of the third platform, per a 2015 poll conducted by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).

John Mancini, the association’s president, said that ECM is now an outdated concept. “The ECM industry is in need of a new label,” he suggested, “and organisations are desperate for best practices to deal with the technology disruption that is occurring.”

ECM is either not achieving its purpose or is being outdone by cloud services. The survey spoke with executives at 400 companies. Core findings included:

  • Three in five companies (62%) that had a substantial ECM investment noted that their employees used file-sharing apps for collaboration.
  • Most decision-makers (50%) said their companies were actively using more than two different ECM environments. One in five (22%) said they had more than four ECM systems deployed.
  • Three in five (60%) said that they were having significant difficulty getting their users to buy into ECM initiatives.
  • The three highest-rated functions of ECM systems were to gauge the user’s circumstances, figure out what needs they might have, and delivering expertly targeted offerings through big data analytics.
  • Just over 50% said that by 2020, ECM would no longer be its own environment but would instead be built into the general infrastructure.

Mancini said that companies were especially concerned about standards so there would be less confusion in comparing different options. He also noted two other major disruptions beyond cloud: the Internet of Things and the general trend of consumerization.

Manufacturers, Disrupted

Another major sector in which cloud has been disruptive is manufacturing. Manufacturing businesses often feel that their customers are moving so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up with them. Cloud providers allow them to meet increasingly mobile and flexible demands.

Here are four ways that cloud gives manufacturers a competitive advantage. Together these elements fuel disruption within the industry.

#1 – Delivering broad expertise to the shop floor.

The chief executive of one company that produces hand tools said that his organization’s cloud plan was for the floor to become as efficient as possible. By using tools designed specifically to optimize manufacturing, the company was able to access a more comprehensive picture of its supply chain and better gauge its progress.

#2 – Seamless system integration to allow cloud ERP, CRM, and supply chain management (SCM) tools to meet emergent and continuing needs in tandem.

One manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) machines wanted to start creating made-to-order equipment. Their cloud provider helped them figure out how to configure the creation of customized items, while managing everything through an ERP system for automated quote-to-cash. Now, more than a quarter of the company’s profits are garnered through custom orders.

#3 – Networks of suppliers with integrated information are now more accessible to manufacturers through the cloud.

Most manufacturers have developed game plans to bring all their supply systems under one umbrella, facilitated through knowledge-sharing.

A case study on building a high-performance supplier networks was created by Dr. Jeffrey Dyer and Dr. Kentaro Nobeoka via an extensive project they conducted for Toyota.

“Manufacturers are relying on cloud platforms and CSPs to enable shifts in network structures and nurture change management to create self-sustaining systems,” explained Louis Columbus.

#4 – Two-tier ERP systems are becoming commonplace as cloud apps become more advanced.

Enterprise resource planning programs have become more sophisticated. One computing manufacturer hired a cloud provider to help them organize procurement and deployment of two-tiered ERP, with an SAP instance located in their main office. They now have manufacturing plants on three continents, with all production monitored and managed through their primary location in the United States.

Realizing the Full Value of Cloud

Companies are only getting 35% of the value cloud systems could deliver to their companies, per analysis from Bain & Company.

“Companies that moved development to IaaS and PaaS clouds from Amazon Web Services (AWS) reduced downtime by 72% and improved application availability by 3.9 hours per user per year,” said Columbus.

Do you need infrastructure-as-a-service? Start free with Flex Cloud today.

By Kent Roberts

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