Many designers and engineers know this scenario all too well: you start editing a model only to realize that you have access to an outdated version. You then need to coordinate with another team to get access and then send the updated file back. Frustrating, right? This scenario is just one of many reasons why cloud computing is gaining traction in the design and engineering industries.
Cloud platforms, like Fusion 360, offer a central location for data storage and provide on-demand access to system resources without constant user management. So, what are the other overarching benefits of cloud computing? Let’s explore ten key ways switching to a cloud platform like Fusion 360 will transform your business.
1. A Single Source of the Truth
With cloud computing, there is a single source of the truth. Project data lives in one place, and all authorized stakeholders can easily access it.
The Autodesk cloud is built on the leading enterprise cloud service provider, Amazon.com. Data storage, communication, and sharing are encrypted end to end. Amazon.com maintains the highest levels of data security methods, protocols, and governance in practice today. Amazon employs teams that proactively focus on identifying new data security threats and closing these holes before they occur. Project data stored on the Amazon cloud is much more secure than data stored in on-premise systems that exist inside firewalls.
2. Access Data From Anywhere
Today, most companies work on engineering data sequentially. In many cases, the applications used by different teams don’t easily share data. These interoperability issues, such as proprietary data formats or different standards, cost additional resources in terms of time and effort, leading to higher product development costs and sometimes lost opportunities. Most companies are just starting to understand how these issues impact the product development process. With the cloud, stakeholders can access project data from anywhere, thus streamlining and often speeding up product development.
3. Break Down Silos
On that note, cloud computing provides opportunities to break down organizational silos by eliminating the gates to access design data. Anyone who needs access to design data to complete work can access it digitally, in real-time, and concurrently. As a result, cloud adoption has opened doors to new and innovative ways of working and collaborating.
4. Simplified Data Management
Data management for on-premise Engineering tools is complicated because data has to be replicated and synced. Cloud-based systems allow for such a way of collaboration, which isn’t available on local CAD. Users can work on the same model or assembly simultaneously without having to worry about being in the wrong version. All the data is stored centrally instead of being spread out around different computers in a local or distributed environment. Say what you want about cloud-based CAD, but there’s no denying that the cloud’s file management capabilities are far superior to the old way of doing things.
5. Digital Transformation
Many companies were already on a path to digitizing their engineering information, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this process and overturned many business practices. COVID-19 restrictions have proven that large-scale remote work on the cloud is both possible and preferable—think fewer costs, higher productivity, and less time. Efforts to continue business have resulted in a rush towards digitization and cloud adoption.
6. Reduced Reliance on IT and Computer Equipment
IT staff and computer equipment required to support on-premise computing environments are expensive. Companies can decrease their IT costs by moving applications and data to the cloud. Engineering departments that already had a majority of their resources on the cloud were more resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic because shifting everybody to design from home was a more straightforward process.
Cloud Computing also frees companies from the IT responsibilities of maintaining hardware and software updates. Every cloud user in an organization is always on the latest software version and receives automatic updates.
7. Energy Reduction
The reduction of on-premise software data centers also provides energy and cost savings to companies and has shifted many of these costs to application providers.
8. Reduced Time and Cost
Cloud computing removes the use restrictions that on-premise data management systems add to the product development process. Cloud computing provides all stakeholders with immediate access to product data digitally, in real-time, and concurrently. Fusion 360, for example, can interoperate bi-directionally with data from other engineering systems used.
9. Enabling Enhanced Automation Capabilities
The fourth industrial revolution is the automation of repetitive manual engineering and manufacturing tasks. As cloud computing capabilities have grown, the ability to apply automation through machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to these manual and repetitive duties has risen dramatically. Cloud computing provides unlimited access to computing power. It liberates engineers from on-premise computing constraints (finite resources), enabling access to other capabilities, such as simulation, generative design (AI), and manufacturing.
10. The World is Moving to the Cloud
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), cloud environment sales surpassed sales for non-cloud infrastructure for the first time in Q2 2020. The move indicates that companies continue to accelerate their digital transformations and embrace remote working for the long term. Even PTC has seen the light.
Is your business keeping up with the rest of the industry? Learn more about how to optimize your team’s workflow and business strategy with Fusion 360 here.
This article is part three of a three-part series that explores why cloud computing is the way forward compared to on-premise software. Check out the whole series below:
Part 1: Ten Ways Cloud Computing Will Streamline Your Business
Part 2: Five Benefits of Cloud Collaboration for Remote Engineers
Part 3: What is Cloud Computing Security? Is My Data Safe on the Cloud?