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How Cloud and SaaS Software Make Smart Manufacturing Cheaper & Secure

Bill Bither
June 06, 2016


Since the emergence and dominance of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) pioneers like salesforce.com, businesses have debated which is the better way to go: buy on-premise software or go the SaaS route.

If you’re a manufacturer looking for ways to gain competitive ground, you may want to check in on this escalating back-and-forth debate to see how it can affect you where it matters most - on the shop floor.


 You might be surprised to learn how much ground SaaS has gained over the past two years.

Driving much of the shift towards global acceptance of the cloud model is a changing mindset as an ever increasing number of manufacturers see the benefits offered by SaaS too compelling to ignore.

First, let’s take a look at what many manufacturers say has been holding them back: a concern about cloud security.


If SaaS Meets Google and Apple Security Standards…

In the past, blanket statements suggesting cloud-based software presented additional security risks had no trouble finding support.

But now that’s changing.

Experts at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco agree that the cloud now offers safe options for corporate data management, often providing better security than companies’ private infrastructure.

The fact that giants like Amazon and Google have embraced SaaS strongly suggests security is no longer the concern it once was.

As with internal networks, cloud-based systems depend on organizations to implement in-house security measures and train employees on best practices to keep data safe.

That’s the ultimate sniff test when it comes to security.

By partnering with the right cloud service provider, small and medium sized business often gain a wealth of security expertise superior to that of their own tech teams.

Our recent blog post, Securing a Shop Network, covers the subject of security in even greater detail. (A piece which originally appeared in the  June 2016 issue of Modern Machine Shop. 


Three Ways Cloud-based Manufacturing Software Puts You Out In Front

When considering the economics of embracing Smart Manufacturing technologies, companies often get a false reading because they don’t take into account the real cost of on-premise software.

Here are just some of the not-so-obvious tangible and intangible advantages that SaaS offers when held up against its on-premise alternative:


1.) Less Resource Costs

According to a white paper by Intacct Corporation titled, ‘Moving to the Cloud: Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership’, companies can spend up to 75% of their total IT budget just to maintain and run existing systems and infrastructure. Cloud-based applications eliminate the need to purchase and maintain expensive servers - minimizing internal resource costs and further adding to their economic advantage. And, with no support, training or integration services costs to take on, it’s even more attractive.


2.) Enhanced Customer Support

On-premise software vendors get large up-front license fees, and after deployment, it becomes your responsibility to maintain the software going forward. The SaaS model ties a vendor to your ongoing success. Their success depends on yours, which means they are driven to ensure you derive real value from the application.


3.) Try Before You Buy

Many small and medium sized companies - particularly those without extensive IT specialists - make purchase decisions without a good understanding of the value the software will deliver to their business. That can be a risky and extremely costly move with such a large, high-profile expense. Most SaaS applications provide companies with trial versions or pilot periods to test the application first and ensure there is business value in the application. If the software doesn’t add value to your business, you need only cancel your subscription.


Going SMART Means Keeping Up

Day by day, manufacturers are getting Smarter - elevating their game to a higher, more efficient level.

While cloud computing may not be the answer for every organization, it’s fast becoming a very attractive alternative to conventional software for savvy companies on the lookout for a sustainable, competitive edge.

To find out how a cloud-based manufacturing software solution would benefit you, call us today at 413-341-5757 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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