Rob, Any time there is any data integration with the Internet, IT is going to be concerned and hopefully take all of the appropriate measures necessary to insure the quality and security of that connection.
Chuck, I think the key is probably taking data integration to the next level. The capability to customize products to "one" is definitely within reach already. Moving to the cloud provides a potential input for manufacturing that potentially simplifies the solutions for easier data integration. Also, a direct input from the customer.
Looks like a good idea for manufacturers, Al. This takes us closer to mass customization. The key here is that a manufacturer will not be limited to what its local servers can deliver. I would guess that cloud technology will allow companies to expand and contract their IT needs as needed. However, this may be a new hurdle in the path toward compatibility between control engineers and their IT departments. Cloud providers will have to make a strong case for security.
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