IQMS Blog for Manufacturing ERP Expertise

Reliability & Security Valid Concerns when Manufacturing in the Cloud

Posted by Glenn Nowak on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 @ 01:25 PM

cloud concerns

Lately, there has been a lot of hype regarding operating your business in the cloud. But is cloud computing the way of the future or simply a trend, like Beanie Babies or Air Jordans? Before hopping on the cloud bandwagon, there are two serious concerns to consider:

Reliability: Back in April, Amazon’s servers unexpectedly went down, halting operations for many businesses that rely completely on the cloud to operate. If you chose a manufacturing ERP software system that functions entirely in the cloud, and something went wrong, how would you ship and meet labeling requirements and delivery dates? Would your clients understand when their products are all late because the Internet was down? Making sure there is complete redundancy and fail over for all your sensitive data is a MUST for any cloud solution.

Security: If I were a business owner who had trade secrets and sensitive financial data within my manufacturing ERP system, security would be my biggest concern. The recent hacking of customer information from Sony and others points to the fact that as long as you have data stored somewhere, then someone will try to hack it. And the bigger the fish, the more the effort to access the sensitive data. Having a limited number of direct employees having access to my data would be much preferable to who knows how many people somewhere in the cloud having access to it.

No business will ever be completely cloud free. Here at IQMS, even though our core system is a completely secure database that resides on our customers’ private, local servers, we do have a few cloud-based programs. Our mobile EnterpriseIQ application obviously has to operate in the cloud, as well as our WebDirect portals for client access. But the core of the business, the critical databases and proprietary information, all stays safe and secure behind on-location server walls.

Just make sure you weigh all the options before drinking the cloudy Kool-Aid. Ask the tough questions and consider getting a security assessment before committing to operating solely in the cloud.

What are some of your concerns in regards to operating a business in the cloud? 

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Tags: manufacturing ERP software, IQMS, ERP Selection, IT/Data Services, Security