As soon as we hear the words “artificial intelligence,” we picture robots and machines taking over like in Terminator or a hallucinogenic super-software controlling our world like in The Matrix. However, the current truth is far from the fictional accounts. AI is already all-pervasive and influencing our decisions and destinies, whether while shopping online or while deciding what meal to order from an app. AI is certainly here to stay and will forever change the way the world works. Manufacturing will particularly see the immense impact of machine learning, process automation, and robotics.
ESG has become a ubiquitous aspect of global business for a good reason: consumers and employees are more aware of the impacts companies can have and are holding them accountable. Governments around the world are creating more stringent norms to protect people and the environment and are looking for transparency from corporations and conglomerates. Companies are realizing that acting on ESG initiatives should not only be seen as a compliance measure. Rather, staying ahead of the competition might actually help them create better value, attract superior talent, and gain a larger market share.
Typically, manufacturing applications have been locally-hosted, on-premise deployments mostly developed from scratch to be extremely specific to the user needs and business cases they cater to. Manufacturers have frowned upon cloud-based application deployment due to perceived availability, latency, and security issues. However, that perception is changing and changing fast. Software as a service–or SaaS, as it is popularly referred to–is bringing all Industry 4.0 technologies to the forefront for manufacturers. Everything from edge computing to AI and IIoT to augmented reality is being enabled through cloud-based deployment, which is faster, better, cheaper, and more secure than any on-premise deployment could ever be.