SaaS is Bringing Manufacturing Another Step Forward
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has brought data solutions to just about every industry in a meaningful way. With the rise of Big Data, the systems needed to utilize huge data inflows and leverage them into real business action have only grown more important. Now, as manufacturing embraces its digital age, it’s also embracing SaaS. There’s significant demand for managed software solutions across industry, and it’s not difficult to see why when you consider the outpouring of data from modern factories.
Big Data’s many avenues
Broad digitization in factories has unlocked an unfathomable amount of data. SaaS takes that data and translates it into meaningful action. For example:
- Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensor data alerts maintenance teams to real-time problems.
- Data over time creates long-term insights for manufacturing.
- Continuous flow data shows anomalies and change over time.
- Historical data sheds light on cost of ownership and upkeep.
Big Data tells us how our factories operate at a granular level, right down to specific information about specific aspects of operation. If you want to figure out the average lifespan of a particular component or understand the most common issue facing a particular machine, Big Data can tell you — but only after data about these questions is processed.
Breaking down Big Data
SaaS systems are the backbone of a modern factory because they deliver data insights. It’s impossible for any single person (or team) to sift through tens or hundreds of thousands of data points to identify patterns or insights. SaaS brings the power of machine learning and ultra-fast processing to factories, to make their Big Data investments actionable.
Instead of dissecting maintenance data, SaaS will tell you exactly when a specific type of maintenance is due. Instead of pouring over cycle data from the last week, month, or quarter, SaaS will tell you, at a glance, that your cycle counts are higher this week by X%. SaaS brings not only actionability to Big Data, but rapidity to decision-making. It’s about having information on-demand and knowing how to use it without pouring over it.
A natural addition to the modern factory
There’s a reason SaaS solutions have followed Big Data booms in every industry from supply chain to retail. Anywhere there’s data, there’s demand for interpretation and management. As manufacturing moves into its fourth age, data is being embraced — which means solutions to manage and activate that data aren’t far behind.
Manufacturers making the investment in SaaS systems are already seeing returns. Midsize and enterprise companies capable of being early adopters have taken SaaS through manufacturing’s proving grounds and helped vendors refine their products into useful solutions. Now, as these solutions become available to more companies, they’re facilitating confident investments into IIoT and digital factory technologies. As they do, here’s what they’re getting in return:
- Better cost management solutions
- Improved visibility for factory operations
- Better security in emerging digital factories
- Better integration across digital investments
- Visibility into critical systems operation
- Smarter decision-making by technicians
In a nutshell, SaaS solutions — particularly enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems — allow factories to function at a higher speed, more accurately, and at a lower cost because they provide crucial insights that drive better decision-making in all these areas.
We already know the future of the modern factory is digital. SaaS solutions are simply the next step forward in making this future a reality.