Companies of all sizes and from all verticals are racing toward the cloud as a way to help
them realize the potential of digital transformation within their respective markets. The manufacturing vertical is one that can particularly benefit from a well-executed cloud strategy and the adoption of next-generation networking technology in order to realize the promise that digital transformation holds. The IIoT leverages the proliferation of data-collection sensors and devices that exist on the edge of an organization’s network. Collection and processing of this data is crucial to both guide product innovation and ensure product performance and outcomes for end users and customers.
But many organizations do not have the resources or infrastructure to successfully execute their cloud strategies. In fact, according to a recent Riverbed survey on the future of networking and the motivations driving companies to adopt modern networking technology, global manufacturing business decision-makers shared the following:
- 92% agree their organization’s cloud strategy will only reach its full potential if they have a next-generation network infrastructure to support it
- 74% claim funding is a challenge to their cloud strategy
While the need for next-gen networking to enable the success of manufacturing companies’ long-term strategies is widely accepted, the fact that funding is such a massive roadblock seems somewhat short sighted. The growth of IIoT devices—and the volumes of data they collect—is not going to slow down (very much the opposite). Additionally, the complexity of the operations to be performed by these devices at the edge of the network is increasing rapidly. This puts manufacturing organizations in a bind—while the near-term costs of deploying next-gen network technology may seem prohibitive, the longer-term benefits come in the form of successful IIoT initiatives and a competitive advantage across the industry.
The promise of digital transformation depends on a networking infrastructure that supports positive and efficient change. For manufacturing and the IIoT, an investment cost today can pay dividends tomorrow by putting proactive organizations in a position of leadership in their market.
Steve Brar is director of solutions marketing with Riverbed.