There's been a lot of change in how manufacturing businesses use their ERP, tracking systems and inventory control systems, as cloud computing has become a big factor across the industry. InformationWeek's recent Enterprise Applications Survey found that 46 percent of companies are using enterprise software as a service and 46 percent are not, which is up from 38 percent using and 51 percent not using in the past year.
"Given the gigantic installed base of on-premises applications, expect to see years of double-digit growth ahead for cloud vendors as they lure converts," Doug Henschen, executive editor of InformationWeek, wrote on the report. "But we'll never get to see a 100 percent cloud world; there's still plenty of demand for on-premises applications, particularly in highly regulated industries. Thus, hybrid strategies are becoming the new normal for the major enterprise application vendors."
The report said businesses were asked which area they would be most likely to adopt the cloud in the next year to two years and most said social networking, email and calendars, while far fewer said they would use it with ERP and supply chain management.
Manufacturers still looking at cloud potential
Louis Columbus wrote on Forbes that even so, manufacturers are still looking to cloud computing to help increase accuracy, make processes faster and capitalize on greater internal intelligence. With the cloud, there is more of a chance for businesses to have more knowledge of every situation instead of having to do a lot of guesswork when it comes to the supply chain and general management of the organization.
"One manufacturing manager explained how during a new product launch the speed and volume of collaboration was so rapid on between suppliers and distributors that an allocation situation was averted," Columbus wrote. "That he said, made senior management believers. These epiphanies are happening daily in manufacturing."
Columbus said based on his visits with manufacturers, there are key points he has taken away regarding how the cloud will be used in the industry, including:
– Capturing intelligence and applying it across the company
– Piloting programs within the organization easily
– Accelerating new software and product deployments
– Using marketing automation to track results
– Supporting two-tier ERP strategies for better efficiency and better reliance on human resource management
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