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What to consider when considering an integrated cloud application
Thu, 10th Jun 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

As manufacturing organisations grow and transform, they can often find themselves overwhelmed by various disconnected, siloed systems and data. Solutions that were implemented over time to solve specific challenges may no longer be delivering benefits — especially if they remain cut off from other business systems.

Making effective decisions in the data-driven era depends on having a holistic, integrated view of all systems and data — but this can be challenging to achieve. The digital transformation journey must account for these systems and include a plan for a unified enterprise view.

One characteristic shared by high-performing companies is that they avoid having fragmented solutions and environments. Instead, they look to integrate their business environments for a single, overarching view of the organisation's operations. This is crucial for operational efficiencies, data governance and security, and cost management. It can also contribute to a better customer experience while improving the employee experience. And, integrated systems make it easier to implement automated workflows that save time and effort while reducing errors.

Moving to the cloud is essential as organisations continue to work more flexibly. However, there are numerous considerations around moving to the cloud. Failing to account for these can jeopardise the success of the migration and the organisation as a whole. It's essential to take a holistic approach that includes a risk assessment, timeline, costs, and strategy for continuous value, while also managing business needs like reporting, data, security, and infrastructure.

Here are the five key focus areas for a successfully integrated cloud application:

Supply chain optimisation

An optimised supply chain lets businesses deliver what the customer wants, when they want it, at the lowest possible cost. It requires visibility and control across the extended supply chain and manufacturing processes.

Financial efficiency and management

Real-time financial reporting and insights can drive highly effective decision-making. Organisations need responsive financial tools that proactively alert and guide business leaders.

Modern manufacturing execution

Manufacturing has become increasingly customer-centric and agile, which means manufacturers need a real-time, connected factory-to-distribution system. This should include the ability to synthesise and analyse feedback from operational assets with IoT and AI systems.

Project management

Effectively managing projects is impossible if the relevant information is tucked away in silos. Visibility is compromised, and project risk is heightened unless organisations have control and governance through a single tool.

Asset management

There is no reason for organisations to suffer unplanned downtime due to equipment or plant maintenance requirements. Instead, they need to use sensor-based information to proactively plan an asset's maintenance throughout its lifecycle in a way that minimises downtime and maximises productivity.

Organisations can no longer accept technology sprawl as a normal part of doing business. Instead, they need to find ways to connect and integrate their systems to achieve maximum return on investment and drive business growth.