Cloud and connectivity? Some companies still fear the loss of control or see security risks. This calls for gentle persuasion.
Many traditional industrial businesses are fairly conservative in nature. Accordingly, this culture can be felt right across the organization. Of course, this also goes for their IT systems and the applications that run on them. In this environment, it is quite common to run applications and the associated infrastructure on the premises. The idea of the cloud, on the other hand, sometimes raises eyebrows with the respective stakeholder. Excessive connectivity hardly seems necessary to them.
Obtain computing power or IT services externally? Doesn’t this inevitably mean a loss of control? And what does the cloud actually mean for IT security? Such questions are often the reason for the reluctance that some cloud opponents display. However, neither of these issues are necessarily valid. On the contrary, the cloud can even provide more control and more IT security.
Pay-as-you-go provides more control
The gain in control is very evident in the total costs. It is difficult to precisely calculate the required computing power in advance. However, the cloud offers the opportunity to pay only for the computing power that a customer actually consumes. Pay-as-you-go scenarios are commonplace here. The much-cited total cost of ownership, on the other hand, is much more difficult to control with on-premise solutions. Of course, this also has to do with the fact that maintenance and administration—as well as the failure of the systems—must also be taken into account. However, this is not the case with most cloud offerings because it is all included in the price.
Comprehensive fallback and backup plans extensively address the question of potential failures. The same goes for IT security. Innovative industrial companies may worry about their intellectual property. Understandably so. However, it is more than questionable whether such concerns can be eliminated with an on-premise architecture. After all, as soon as a company is connected to the Internet, even via just one IP address, it is vulnerable to attack. It is more appropriate to ask about best practices. Especially in terms of security. However, this is usually a question of manpower and available resources. And small and medium-sized companies in particular have a hard time with this. However, the large cloud providers can come up with the corresponding best practices.
This does not mean that a user company no longer needs any technical expertise. On the contrary, technical expertise is of course useful. This applies not only to IT security, but also to the basic features of the services and performances that you want to provide for your customers or use yourself. This expertise makes the dialog with cloud providers much easier and leads to better results.
Device connectivity prevents failures
As already pointed out in our last blog post, connectivity is the fundamental prerequisite for setting up meaningful data utilization scenarios. Yet it can also prove particularly useful with regards to downtimes and their prevention, because device connectivity provides valuable data on the device status. However, such information can not only be used reactively; by means of machine learning it can help avoid certain problems in advance. Because it allows to establish a probability estimate which can allow reliable forecast of when a device will fail. Thus, in turn, it helps to set up maintenance windows with enough advance notice to prevent any undesirable disruptions. This way, the user’s company can get the most out of their investments. They ensure reliable and uninterrupted operations. Needless to say, it also increases the motivation of the company’s workforce, while simultaneously reducing the frustration caused by unwanted downtime.