You have probably noticed a trend in companies around the world: the use of cloud computing. In this reality of constant change and generation of data at all moments given by Industry 4.0, this is a way to keep important information in an environment of easy control and use.
Because cloud computing is part of people’s everyday lives, technology is used without people even notice it. By using an online streaming software, storing photos in apps or sending emails, you’re using this pillar of Industry 4.0.
Similarly, this reality applies to industries, and it is essential that this concept is disseminated so everyone can understand the benefits and opportunities that cloud computing provides.
In this article you will understand more about the concept, benefits and challenges, as well as the applications that exist today and the reality of the industries. Finally, we will show you some possibilities that cloud computing has for the future.
What is Cloud Computing?
In a few words, cloud computing is about accessing files and running tasks using an internet connection, without having to install applications on computers.
This is because in this type of technology there is a server that is responsible for storing and distributing information, and a receiver that uses this information when necessary. After using them, it returns to the provider with the updated information.
In addition, for the use of cloud computing in companies, there is the possibility of creating complex systems that consist of storage, remote work and tools for analysis of results and processes.
Therefore cloud computing enables automatic data backup and creation of history changes in collaborative documents.
Types of cloud computing
Since the cloud computing market is growing, there are today three types of cloud that can be used by industries. The ideal is to evaluate the benefits of each of them, and then determine the type that will be used by your company.
A public cloud belongs to an outsourced provider that manages the entire system and offers the service over the internet. In this option, the equipment and infrastructure required are owned by this third-party provider.
Unlike the public cloud, a private cloud is only used by one company. In some cases, organizations choose to host their private cloud in a third-party provider so they do not have to buy and install all the equipment and hire the people involved in management.
This is the combination of private and public clouds, which allows sharing of data and applications. By choosing a hybrid cloud, there is greater possibilities for deployment and optimization of the required infrastructure, as well as security and flexibility for the entire system.
Benefits of using cloud computing systems
When using cloud computing, hardware and software purchase costs, configuration of servers, electricity, and IT specialists for infrastructure management are eliminated.
2. Global Scale
Cloud computing has a great advantage of being able to access and share documents, reports, and controls in the geographic location needed.
This is a benefit that can be controversial, but as cloud computing providers have diverse policies and controls relating to data security, it can be considered one of the benefits of this technology.
Cloud computing has a very important premise that is to provide, in a fast way, the access required to perform a certain task.
In this way, it is possible to develop innovation everyday and allow the IT team to develop business solutions.
When a company uses cloud computing, in addition to reducing costs, there is greater sustainability of the processes because energy, space and refrigeration are spared.
The first great example of using cloud computing is Dropbox, which performs file synchronization over the internet, and provides file sharing automatically through access to the website.
Google is a company that has multiple products in the cloud. Among these products are Gmail, Google Maps and Google Drive.
The latter includes the use of Microsoft Office-style tools, but 100% online and connected. Additionally, it allows for more than one user to make changes to a single document at the same time.
Movies & TV Series
In Netflix and Hulu (in addition to other streaming applications that are coming up), you have several movies and TV series available to watch. These are stored in a cloud and need an internet connection to be displayed.
Pay attention to these issues
However, cloud computing has some challenges that must be observed so that the experience with this technology is not harmed.
1. Data security
Despite being considered a benefit, there is a great deal of mistrust regarding online data security, since the number of cases of information loss or even hacker intrusion into systems is large.
This is where another pillar of Industry 4.0 operates, called cybersecurity, to ensure that information stored in the cloud remains secure.
When your information, documents, and systems are integrated to a network, there is a risk of server downtime. In these cases, entire companies may even stop working because all systems become inactive, and this can end up causing great losses.
Therefore, before hiring a cloud computing supplier, one must take into account the downtime and network issues, in order to avoid this type of problem as much as possible.
3. High initial investment
Depending on the size of your cloud computing project, it is possible that a high initial investment is required for a system to be programmed and meet the specific requirements of your industry.
Even though it is a disadvantage, it is worth remembering that one of the benefits of using cloud computing is precisely the reduction of costs with infrastructure and people, which helps to stand for the project.
The reality of Cloud Computing in industries
Industry 4.0 is a very large source of data generation that must be stored securely, and cloud computing is an alternative to ensure it, since the information collected must be available in real time and without geographical dependence.
However, the industrial reality today is facing problems such as equipment failures, which could be avoided in case the industry used cloud computing.
This is because when equipment stop working, operators and mechanics need to dedicate their time to make an assertive diagnosis, in addition to waiting for technical support to perform the repairs.
However, if this plant is connected to a cloud server, which uses the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data to guarantee effective communication between all the processes involved, this equipment could send an alert to operators showing exactly where the problem is, thus saving energy, time and money for repairs.
Through this simple and pretty common example, one can see how cloud computing can be very useful in the industrial environment, having benefits such as agility and productivity in delicate situations like a production breakdown.
Cloud computing future
Cloud computing has evolved rapidly, and this trend will continue in the future. New solutions for using the cloud will be offered, making it easier for operators and managers to use it in industries around the world.
Higher storage capacity
With industry 4.0, the need to store very large amounts of data grows every day, therefore new technologies will be developed to meet this increasing demand.
Also, it will be possible to store large groups of data and at the same time perform the analysis necessary to improve the products and the quality of the processes as a whole.
A major step to be taken is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) within cloud computing, and it is possible to optimize processes and generate more productivity for the industries.
In this sense, the trend is that the integration of various technologies involved in the industry 4.0 will happen in the next few years.
To conclude, it is important to think about how each of the pillars of Industry 4.0 greatly affect the reality that the industry faces today.
With cloud computing it is no different, and it is already a widely used tool by people professional and personally. And to ensure that all information is safe and accessible at all times, it is necessary to keep it updated and in the process of continuous improvement.
What are the cloud computing applications that you already use in your business? And do you see new uses of the cloud in the industrial environment?
Share your experience in the comments below!