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Many people think manufacturing is sometimes thought to be a laggard when it comes to adopting cloud technologies like Salesforce, Workday or Netsuite. And if you asked that question just five years ago, finding cloud technologies at a manufacturing company was like finding a needle in a haystack. “We need to have all our designs stay in our offices— our files are too important to have to rely on the cloud,” would be a common complaint.

Fast forward to today, and the tide is turning. Cloud companies like Salesforce, Atlassian, Propel and Rootstock now have engineering departments collaborating on hardware, software and manufacturing information. In a recent survey held by Salesforce, Propel, Rootstock, ICIX and Tavant Technologies, manufacturing professionals indicated that there’s a dramatic shift happening with the “back office” of engineering, operations and manufacturing. In fact, eighty percent of operations departments, 70% of engineering groups and 59% of manufacturing departments expect to grow their use of enterprise cloud apps dramatically by 2017.

Global manufacturing companies say they have realized good results by adopting cloud applications, and they plan to accelerate cloud use dramatically by 2017 — especially in their manufacturing, engineering and operations groups. Some of the biggest benefits they’ve already realized have come from lower IT costs, higher employee productivity, better data visibility and gains in process automation.

Some interesting facts from the manufacturing cloud survey, “Manufacturing: On the Cloud Frontier”:

  • Manufacturing companies have reaped big rewards and lower costs from their early internal cloud adoption: Over 60% of respondents said cloud apps have helped them realize internally focused benefits. Higher employee productivity, process automation, data visibility and lower IT costs ranked as the top cloud benefits.
  • The shift to cloud solutions will accelerate quickly: Eighty percent of operations departments, 70% of engineering groups and 59% of manufacturing departments expect to grow their use of enterprise cloud apps dramatically by 2017.
  • Surprisingly, IT decision-makers in manufacturing, operations and engineering have been more cautious than their marketing and sales counterparts in adopting cloud platforms: Only 19% of Manufacturing, 20% of Operations and 25% of Engineering departments are currently using enterprise cloud apps.

So while Sales and Marketing teams have been using the cloud for years, the survey indicates that engineers now feel that it’s their time to start enjoying what the cloud can do for them. With world-class cloud platforms like Salesforce, manufacturing companies don’t have to worry about data security or reliability. Enterprise engineering solutions like Propel, which is built 100% on the Salesforce platform, make it possible for manufacturers to collaborate much more closely with customers, partners and employees, so they can deliver great products.

Go to propelPLM.com to find out how Propel helps everyone at manufacturing companies connect with their customers, products and services, so they can propel innovation and propel their business.

Cloud Computing Manufacturing PLM Blog

Miguel Tam

Miguel Tam

Jul 21, 2016