Manufacturing the Cloud: The Air Conditioned Server Room

So it looks like cloud computing is here to stay after all. Like most innovations, there are a few early adopters while the majority sit back and look on with interest to see where it’s all going to go. Evolution is a pretty cool thing—just ask Darwin.

I’ve been in manufacturing for over 25 years and have seen how manufacturing has evolved.

Over that time I’ve worked with some pretty sophisticated solutions. Or at least that’s what ERP is meant to be—right? A solution to a problem? So if that’s the case, why do some ERP systems often cause more problems than they solve? Shouldn’t a company be more efficient after implementing their solution of choice than before? That would seem logical—but logic doesn’t always come into the equation.

Logic would dictate that not having to buy, maintain, upgrade and care for a plethora of servers to run the abovementioned on-premise ERP “solution” would be a good thing. However, some manufacturers have traditionally been more inclined to spend money on a shiny new piece of production equipment than on an ERP solution. Of course, on-premise ERP does afford the comfort of being able to walk into a specially built, air conditioned server room, admire the large rack of equipment and chat with the IT guy who is lovingly attending to it and praying that that latest virus isn’t going to bring the whole infrastructure crashing down.

With more and more companies now outsourcing their manufacturing operations to specialized manufacturers all across the globe, isn’t now the time to also outsource the management of your IT infrastructure? SaaS solutions (ERP, mail, document management etc.) are uniquely positioned to facilitate this outsourcing with anytime access from (in NetSuite’s case) a variety of devices including your iPhone, iPad and others.

At the beginnings of cloud computing, there was a period when SaaS ERP meant that organizations had to sacrifice functionality for a lower cost of ownership, but that is no longer the case. Take the example of NetSuite, which enables companies to leverage a modern architecture and outsource their financials, marketing, CRM, manufacturing and more. All on a platform that is significantly more flexible and able to evolve, and updates automatically and painlessly.

So today we challenge Darwin’s theory of evolution, at least as far as it applies to the world of ERP and the air-conditioned server room. Let NetSuite worry about keeping your ERP solution running so that you can worry about the evolution that’s most important—the evolution of your business into one that is more efficient, agile and profitable.

- Gavin Davidson, Vertical Market Expert, Manufacturing

comments powered by Disqus