It was probably less than a year ago when I first heard IT and operations debating about the possibility of adopting a cloud-based manufacturing execution system (MES). At the time, the general feeling was that cloud computing was not acceptable for manufacturing companies—too many risks around having critical intellectual property transferred over the Internet and stored in some database hosted in a data center.
It was clear that IT and operations—coming from two different worlds with different requirements to satisfy and using technologies that were evolving at different paces—had a totally different viewpoint. For operations, cloud was still taboo while IT was already considering it an option.
Over the past year, however, things have changed considerably. It’s almost unbelievable how many constraints have disappeared and how much cloud has become a natural option to consider when implementing an MES/MOM solution. It has become so obvious that in the last four months we replied to at least four requests for proposal (RFPs) to develop a corporate MES/MOM system in the cloud.
Why have things accelerated so much and what are the benefits of cloud in this kind of project?