These are consumers or professionals using cloud tools to manage their personal and professional lives more efficiently. Tools include Google docs, Dropbox and salesforce.com, to name few. With cloud applications, you (or the enterprise) have access to data at all times via smart phones or devices.
This month’s issue of Automation World is devoted to applications and insights on information strategies and cloud computing for the manufacturing space. More specifically in the manufacturing space, the cloud is defined as “software as a service” (SaaS). James Koelsch’s feature, “Mid-size Manufacturers Head for the Cloud,” details the many advantages of cloud applications, such as internal information technology (IT) cost-savings. At Shape Corp., for example, ERP cloud software includes IT maintenance functions, which eliminates costs related to data storage, backups and disaster recovery.
Jim Pinto examines SaaS in his column and provides analysis on what automation applications will move to the cloud first. Virtualized servers for control rooms are already in adoption, but moving distributed control systems (DCS) will take considerable time.
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