By Goran Novkovic, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng
This blog is part of a series called Manufacturing in the Cloud. This series aims to assist manufacturing organizations to evaluate how they can overcome challenges and maximize cloud computing benefits. As cloud computing services mature both commercially and technologically, this is likely to become relatively easier to achieve.
One of the biggest benefits to manufacturing organizations from the use of cloud computing is the ability to rapidly acquire and implement cloud-based solutions. This increased business agility results from removing the time required to rationalize new capital costs, the time and capacity required to put necessary cloud infrastructure in place.
What should you consider with cloud infrastructure?
A cloud infrastructure is the collection of hardware and software that enables the five essential characteristics of cloud computing that we talked about in a previous blog. To make this as simple as possible, the cloud infrastructure can be viewed as combination of a physical layer and an abstraction layer. The physical layer consists of the hardware resources that are necessary to support the cloud services being provided. It typically includes network, storage and server components. The abstraction layer consists of the software deployed across the physical layer, which manifests the essential cloud characteristics. Conceptually speaking, the abstraction layer is sitting on the top of physical layer.
There are different types of cloud deployment and cloud service models that can be implemented depending on manufacturing needs and application specific requirements. Each of the cloud models has specific advantages and disadvantages that are relative to the other models. Cloud is definitely not for every type of business and operational process nor every organizational need.
The types of cloud services selected and how they are managed is critical. Thinking strategically about costs and benefits and risks is paramount and must be done first. The most common reason not to move to the cloud is a perceived cost of the customization. This perceived cost outweighs the benefits of the cloud solutions in the minds of many manufacturing professionals. The thought may lead to a decision that cloud computing is not good for the manufacturing organization, and not really the optimal solution when comparing it to other solutions on the market.
The technology landscape for manufacturing is changing. The landscape for computing and how information technology is delivered to manufacturing organizations is changing, too. So, what we should do about that? First of all, waiting for good things to happen isn’t going to save you any time or resources in the long run. Start drafting strategies and flow charts to utilize advantages and benefits of cloud computing. Determine what kind of cloud services you need and what cloud models will work the best for your manufacturing needs. Here is a baseline list of the four cloud deployment models that can help kick start your draft of a solution.
CLOUD DEPLOYMENT MODELS
When we talk about cloud computing, most of us think about the Internet. It is certainly true that cloud computing can be offered to manufacturing organizations over the Internet. However, it is also true that cloud computing can be offered within a manufacturing organization running on its own infrastructure.
n the next blog of this series ‘Manufacturing in the Cloud’ we will look at each cloud type (private, public, hybrid or community) and how they can be incorporated (or not) in your draft strategy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Goran Novkovic has over 15 years of experience in various regulated industry sectors. His expertise is in industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity, control systems engineering, computer systems validation, software security and test management, cloud security and regulatory compliance. Goran has a formal education in Electrical Engineering and Project Management and possesses a master's degree in Information Technology. He has number of professional licenses and designations. He is holder of CQA (Certified Quality Auditor) and CSQE (Certified Software Quality Engineer) certifications with ASQ (American Society for Quality). Goran is certified ITIL, certified Agile Project Manager and Project Management Professional with PMI (Project Management Institute). He is licensed Professional Engineer with PEO (Professional Engineers Ontario). Goran is focused on ICS cybersecurity and he is helping organizations to establish ICS cybersecurity governance and develop effective ICS cybersecurity programs from scratch. E-mail contact: firstname.lastname@example.org