The demands on today’s manufacturers are constantly shifting. Factors such as Brexit, fluctuation in consumer demand, supply chain difficulties and overseas competition make it essential for manufacturers to remain agile in the way they respond to changing circumstances. However, many manufacturers find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of inefficient business processes, often as a result of sweating previous capital investments in legacy IT systems.
In a previous blog, we explained how cloud technology can hold the key to unlocking process efficiencies. Through the staged introduction of cloud technologies, manufacturers can reduce downtime, scale to meet changing demand, make evidenced process decisions and introduce manufacturing automation.
In this blog, we will make the case for manufacturers to adopt scalable cloud technology, in order to help increase their agility and meet the challenges they face head-on. But before we explore the benefits, we’ll explain how cloud computing is inherently scalable.
Types of Cloud Scalability
Transitioning your IT infrastructure from local hardware to a scalable cloud-based infrastructure makes sense both from an economic perspective, and in terms of process efficiencies. There are three main types of cloud scalability: vertical, horizontal and diagonal:
- Vertical Scalability is the ability to increase (or reduce) the CPUs, memory and disk resources available to servers in a cloud infrastructure. Scaling these resources up will increase the performance of a server – to a point.
- Horizontal Scalability is the ability to increase (or reduce) the number of servers dedicated to facilitating a given task. For example, load balancing two servers may enable you to execute more concurrent workloads than a single server.
- Diagonal Scalability is, as you may be able to guess, the combination of vertical and horizontal scalability. A diagonally scalable cloud infrastructure will enable you to dynamically scale both the number of servers, and the resources available to each server.
Cloud infrastructures are able to scale vertically, horizontally and diagonally much more easily than traditional local infrastructures. This inherent scalability delivers a number of benefits for manufacturers looking to achieve process efficiencies.
Delivering Manufacturing Efficiencies
Scalable cloud infrastructures enable manufacturers to achieve process efficiencies through their performance, relative cost-efficiencies, speed and dynamic capacity:
- Provide sufficient resources to power innovative manufacturing processes. In order to implement Industry 4.0-aligned practices such as edge computing, Internet of Things and automation, you need to deliver sufficient resources to your operational endpoints. Cloud infrastructures have huge amounts of resources readily available to them, enabling you to rapidly supercharge the computing power available to your critical applications and devices.
- Streamline costs by paying for what you need, when you need it. You may not need to supercharge the resources available to power your manufacturing processes all the time; requirements will fluctuate with demand. Cloud infrastructures allow you to scale resources whilst paying only for what you need, when you need it – reducing costs and avoiding the risk of investing money in under-utilised infrastructure resources.
- React quickly and easily to changing requirements. If an urgent requirement necessitates a burst of resource capabilities or the rapid roll-out of a new application or module, cloud infrastructures make this straightforward and – importantly – rapid. Services can be scaled in hours, not days or weeks, allowing you to be proactive in the way you handle changing circumstances.
- Benefit from dynamic capacity that grows as you do. The effective use of data is driving the Industry 4.0 revolution. But as your live data and backup data grow, you need to ensure they are stored securely. Cloud storage capacity grows dynamically with your data, scaling easily without the need to pre-emptively invest in costly hardware. Cloud storage is also highly secure, stored in Tier III+ data centres and managed to cybersecurity best practices.
Improve Performance with Scalable Cloud Technology
Through the implementation of cloud-based infrastructures to manage critical workloads, your business can improve performance and achieve manufacturing process efficiencies that will help you gain competitive advantage. Six Degrees has the resources, capabilities and experience to help you on this journey; register for a free Cloud Strategy Workshop to begin planning your cloud transformation roadmap to delivering manufacturing efficiencies.