Rob, in public cloud, data access and transfer depends up on the bandwidth of the network service provider. Such data access is happening over the public internet access channel. In my country as of now, the maximum speed available for 3G network is 3.6 Gbps and for broadband its 25Mbps. So 10GB data transfer to Amazon cloud from my desktop may take somewhere between 15-40 minutes.
Richnass, my answer is simple. If you are able to compromise in security, it has an outweigh. Eventhough everybody is concerned about security issues, if the datas are not critical, then there is no need of such worries.
Rob, such security threats can be addressed by using either a Private cloud or Hybrid cloud. The biggest bottle neck is connectivity. Since cloud is get connected through network (Wifi/broadband/3-4G), the data transfer speed is a big issue.
My mind always takes me to the scene in Toy-Story, where Buzz Lightyear falls into the vending machine filled with (squeaky-toy) 3-Eyed aliens. When Buzz says "take me to your leader", they all slowly gaze upward in unison, and say, "The C-L-A-W". Substitute the same Stepford Wife thinking with "The C-L-O-U-D." ...but that's just my odd thinking ....
Nice summary of what The Cloud really is, JimT. Whenever I see TV commercials that mention The Cloud, I wonder how many people in the viewing audience are scratching their heads and asking, "What the heck is the cloud?"
I agree with the author that most companies would benefit from a PLM system (cloud-based or not). The challenge has been that a PLM is truly an all-encompassing system covering activities from product design all the way to manufactured product out the door. Most Fortune 500 companies and medium-sized manufacturers have ERP systems already in place for the manufacturing end, often from the company SAP. Replacing the entire ERP system of a functioning company is pretty much a non-starter, much less getting an entire PLM system from another company installed to replace it. Meeting that challenge is the obstacle - basing it in the cloud is just frosting on the cake. Just my two cents (and painful experience) talking.
It really is nothing new – Just the gimmicky marketing Buzz word "The Cloud". For decades, managers have been asking the Engineers for the updated, latest spread sheets and BOMs. You either get a "real-time" report (resides on the server) or a "Snap-shot in time" (resides on my home drive). Pros & Cons are obvious; it's about unrestricted control of the data therein. But the concept is as old as the ancient "Apple-Share" from the 1980's.
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