Posted: February 21, 2018 18:45
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It has been approximately 170 years since James Wilson Marshall found gold flakes in the American River near Coloma, California.  Marshall’s discovery ignited a historical migration that would completely change California’s economy and landscape.  Over a quarter of a million people rushed to California to mine for gold from 1848 to 1855 and ultimately became important innovators in American history.  

Today, a more ubiquitous golden opportunity is available to those that seek to change and innovate the world.  The power of cloud computing allows every player on the business spectrum from entrepreneur to small and midsize companies to large enterprise organizations to mine for innovation across every aspect of their business.  

Business innovators are doing just that - they are mining for ways to improve operational efficiency, to increase customer satisfaction, to develop new products and services and to significantly grow revenue.  Cloud-based technologies such as Salesforce’s Force.com, Microsoft Dynamics, Mendix, and OutSystems are being leveraged to drive innovation across various verticals such as healthcare, banking, retail, manufacturing, and government.  

Although the cloud itself is largely industry agnostic, the manufacturing industry stands to make tremendous gains by implementing cloud-based solutions.  Here are a few ways manufacturers are mining for innovation in the cloud –

  • Digitizing customer engagement by building online customer portals to serve as a centralized location for customer product inquiries, orders, support tickets and delivery tracking.  Manufacturers are improving and increasing customer engagement by making it easier for their customers to do business with them by implementing multi-channel digital technologies in the cloud.  
 
  • Automating and streamlining communication and collaboration around design, development, and launching of new products.  Cloud-based project management systems are extending the communication channels for global product management teams.  The historical barriers to global communication no longer exist as the cloud has eliminated time-zone and multiple languages challenges.  As result manufacturers are able to speed up time-to-market for new products and exceeding their customers’ expectations.
 
  • Reducing costs and achieving operational efficiency through machine learning, IoT and the cloud at manufacturing plants.  The competitive landscape in the manufacturing has far exceeded human processing power and requires companies to be extremely nimble and agile to keep pace.   Machine learning and IoT are helping companies streamline processes and gain a level predictability in operations to avoid unplanned equipment downtime, which results in huge cost savings.  


Perhaps you will not find literal gold nuggets like James Wilson Marshall but there is a greater opportunity – in them thar clouds.  As a business leader, you should be leveraging cloud-based technologies such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS to mine for innovation at your company to achieve both cost and agility advantages over your competition.
 

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