Gaining a Competitive Advantage Through the Cloud

Pam Washbon January 27, 2016

shutterstock_249300829_Converted-1.jpgWhat do iCloud, Dropbox and Facebook have in common? They are all cloud applications that people across the globe use every day.  Individuals and businesses are avid supporters of cloud computing thanks to the numerous benefits, including the ease of collaboration that can be achieved instantly and the endless potential that the cloud provides. Manufacturers are no different, also benefiting from the cloud’s flexibility, time saving capabilities and low costs, resulting in profitable growth, and competitive advantage.


Manufacturers today are seeking a competitive advantage that will provide them with long-term financial sustainability. Cloud deployment can provide organizations of all sizes with tremendous opportunities to not only gain an advantage over their competition, but to also redesign business processes and create business value through IT. The third annual ‘State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud’ paper released by Verizon, found 77% of firms cite cloud as a competitive advantage.


With cloud computing, data is no longer stored on or restricted by individual devices. While data is still stored on a physical environment, typically in a large datacenter, the data is accessed through an internet connection. This allows users to access the data at any time, from any location and from a variety of devices, including laptops, desktops, tablets and smart phones. Since its inception, the cloud has matured and there has been a dramatic increase in usage and the benefits to this deployment method that are yet to be discovered. Cloud computing truly is revolutionizing the way manufacturers do business.


Cloud deployment allows organizations to keep pace with the ever-changing world of technology and provides a number of benefits, including improved business continuity, disaster recovery options, along with time-to-market, collaboration, scalability, and reduced costs.  Enhanced supply chain visibility delivers real time results and streamlining business strategies allows you to recruit the best talent, develop new innovative products and enhance your customers’ experience.  Improved operations and processes provide a solid foundation for growth and expansion.



Adopting cloud-based systems allow manufacturers to streamline processes, which can improve time-to-market and turn-around time of products. Utilizing this technology enables companies to gain benefits that will help them outperform their competitors.

By developing more new products earlier and optimizing production costs, the savings can be passed down to the customer and increase customer satisfaction. We’ve heard it all before- time is money, and that is especially true in such fast-pace environments. Manufacturers that harness the power of the cloud are seeing many improvements in time-to-market, and as a result are saving money and allowing them to gain the competitive advantage. Faster Time-to-Market is just one of the many benefits of the cloud that supports competitive advantage.



Allowing for easier collaboration early on in the design cycle, cloud computing accelerates product development. Having access to data and resources on demand has allowed for better collaboration across every department throughout the supply chain. In the fast-paced world of manufacturing, businesses are turning to cloud computing for its ability to quickly adapt to the changing needs. Having instant access has simplified the way changes are made within a product’s lifecycle. Having so much flexibility allows for greater productivity, innovation and allows for more efficient business strategies.



Along with the simplified methods of collaboration, the cloud also allows for scalability within projects. Instantly changing project workloads is critical for successfully implementing strategies and seeing results.  Having the flexibility to increase or decrease your project’s scale with seamless updates across departments has many advantages, and will not only save time, but also money.


Reduced Costs

Technology can be updated with fewer resources and quickly applied across multiple systems, as well as transitions from legacy systems. Since data is accessed remotely, companies are able to save money on expensive hardware that needs to be updated and replaced. Having less hardware allows manufacturers to reduce costs, all while keeping up with the latest technologies and integration. Allowing for improved analytics, predictable expense models, cloud computing reduces overall IT costs which has a direct impact on the bottom line.


Manufacturers who implement cloud systems allow them to leverage the benefits across all departments. The cloud is here to stay, embrace it and use it to gain your competitive advantage.


Barry-Wehmiller International offers several solutions in a cloud delivery model such as ERP, CRM, PLM, ecommerce and SharePoint solutions.

Another version of this blog was published on on March 28, 2017 as “6 Reasons Manufacturers are Flocking to Cloud Manufacturing”

Topics Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud