Cloud computing uses a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to process and store data, rather than a personal computer or local server. Clouds may be limited to a single organisation (private or enterprise clouds), available to many organisations (public clouds) or a combination of both (hybrid clouds).
Nutanix, a cloud computing infrastructure and software company, has announced the findings of its Enterprise Cloud Index survey for the manufacturing sector, measuring manufacturing companies’ plans for adopting private, public and hybrid cloud computing. The report shows that the manufacturing industry’s usage of and plans for hybrid cloud are higher than the global average across industries. The deployment of hybrid clouds by manufacturing companies is currently 19 per cent, higher of the global average of 18.5 per cent, but these companies plan to more than double their hybrid cloud use to 45 per cent in two years, 4 per cent higher than the global average.
The manufacturing industry is at an “innovation impasse”, as manufacturers have the desire to innovate and drive transformation, but legacy IT systems have the potential to constrain their ability to do so. The opportunity for manufacturers to embrace digitisation efforts, including Industry 4.0 initiatives, can break this impasse, but executives must focus on new opportunities to create value and not only prioritise traditional business operations. Manufacturers face the constant challenge of trade-offs: they are under pressure to meet current productivity and operational goals in a highly competitive and increasingly global marketplace, but they also need to invest in future growth.
This challenge has created a demand for new technology solutions that can help balance the trade-off between current and future goals. IT leaders in manufacturing must avoid the beaten path of finding short-term fixes for increasing revenue; instead, they should look to long-term solutions that enable automation, enhanced use of data and improvements in customer experience. The Enterprise Cloud Index findings indicate that manufacturing leaders are aggressively adopting new technology to embrace modernisation instead of getting left behind with legacy systems. The distributed cloud model offers a solution that delivers speed, flexibility and localisation, allowing manufacturers to improve efficiency without compromising quality.
While 91 per cent of survey respondents reported hybrid cloud as the ideal IT model, today’s global average hybrid cloud penetration level is at 18.5 per cent. The disparity is due in part to the challenges of transitioning to the hybrid cloud model. Manufacturing industries reported barriers to adopting hybrid cloud that mirrored global roadblocks, including limitations in application mobility, data security/compliance, performance, management and a shortage of IT talent. Compared to other industries, manufacturers reported greater IT talent deficits in artificial intelligence/machine learning, hybrid cloud, blockchain and edge computing/IoT.
The bullish outlook for hybrid cloud adoption globally and across industries reflects an IT landscape growing increasingly automated and flexible enough that enterprises have the choice to build, rent or buy their IT infrastructure resources based on fast transforming application requirements.
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