Practical Advice for Realizing the Full Potential of Your Cloud Initiative


If you’re seeking good news about cloud technology, you don’t have to look very far. Glowing reports expounding on the value of the cloud are multiplying as fast as SaaS solutions. As we all know, it’s not as easy as vendors want it to seem — it’s one thing to adopt cloud services and quite another to implement them in a way that maximizes benefits.

A report by Bain & Company, “Tapping Cloud’s Full Potential,” found that, on average, organizations have only moved about 18 percent of their workloads to the cloud. That means they are missing out on about two-thirds of the financial and operational efficiency benefits available.

The report’s authors noted that a cautious stance to the cloud causes some to opt for a private cloud over a public cloud — in other words, they design, build and host cloud capacity using their own IT resources. Unfortunately, the report finds, the private cloud delivers only about one third the value made possible when leveraging public cloud. Why? The private cloud burdens internal IT with the problems of cloud architecture, integration, and a myriad other challenges that can lead to soaring costs and impaired functionality.

We’ve selected some best practices to help new cloud adopters set themselves up for success.

Boost your efforts by soliciting buy-in

Top management must be on board for a cloud initiative to succeed. Otherwise, financing will bog down and other priorities will inhibit progress. But management buy in is not enough. Those who will actually be using the applications must be amenable to transferring their existing processes to the cloud. Moreover, the IT department has to be willing to loosen its grip on IT processes and purchasing patterns. Spending time with these important groups before, during, and after the switch is vital to creating a productive, cooperative team effort around cloud adoption.

Internal IT is key to success

Some companies think a move to the cloud means they can largely abandon internal IT. That leads them to let go of valuable staff and underfund IT budgets. Savvy manufacturers understand that while the cloud may lead to a sizable shift in internal IT operations, they are still crucial.

For one thing, not every workload will move to the cloud. Further, capable IT staff must be retained to manage and oversee cloud deployments. Passing off all responsibility to a cloud provider is a sure route to failure. It is up to IT to monitor cloud usage, availability, performance and costs and ensure that cloud services meet expectations. A full evaluation must be done to determine which functions remain in house and which are to be sent to the cloud.

Cloud models for manufacturing systems

Cloud services are typically categorized by three essential models. Let’s look at how these might apply to manufacturers using iBase-t Solumina solutions.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): In this model, the manufacturer eliminates its internal data center and outsources its IT infrastructure to a provider such as IBM Global Services, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace or Amazon Web Services (AWS). In that case, the manufacturer would still own and maintain their data, middleware, and software (including the Solumina application).

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): In this arrangement, the manufacturer rents or leases data center resources, middleware, and operating systems from a provider. Solumina and other applications would be owned by the manufacturer and would run on top of that platform. Examples of PaaS include and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): This is the basic subscription model with which most people are familiar. You pay a set rate per month to a provider such as AWS or Microsoft Azure for a certain amount of storage, compute power, networking etc. You simply log onto the application over the web and don’t have to worry about the underlying hardware and software. Everything is taken care of by the provider and is bundled into the cost. Examples include Google Apps, Dropbox and Salesforce. Solumina will be available via a SaaS model in the very near future.

It is up to IT management to determine the model that is the best fit for reaching their business objectives, extracting ROI from existing systems, and planning for future technology needs.

Choose your partner wisely

Before moving to the cloud, it is wise to carefully evaluate available cloud providers and partner networks. Some companies attempt to provide everything you might need for the cloud experience (e.g., Amazon). Others, such as managed service providers (MSPs), have developed partner networks, enabling them to call upon trusted providers to offer a range of services. Some MSPs gravitate towards specific industries and verticals. Before signing anything, manufacturers are advised to check the availability and performance stats of potential providers, closely investigate overall costs, and check if the prospective vendor has experience in serving businesses in a similar field.

One step at a time

Executives sometimes become overly exuberant about a specific technology or trend and suddenly issue dictates such as “Let’s go all cloud.” IT is advised to temper such enthusiasm with a careful approach to cloud adoption. It’s often helpful to start by going after low-hanging fruit. Look, for example, for applications that are easy to port to the cloud with minimal disruption, where ROI would be readily apparent. That’s a great way to popularize the cloud, get that essential buy-in, and test the waters before diving in deeper.

If you follow these practices, monitor the performance and results of your cloud initiative, and solicit feedback from your end users, you’ll be sure to get the most out of more flexible, cost-effective, and scalable infrastructure and applications.

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What Value Does Cloud Bring to Manufacturing?

For many businesses, the initial rush to the cloud was mostly about saving money and keeping up with the competition. Companies were thrilled to avoid major capital expenses for new hardware and software by changing over to monthly subscription charges for cloud services. Not surprisingly, that wasn’t a good enough reason for most manufacturers to make the leap to the cloud. After all, manufacturers are used to spending big chunks of capital on equipment. To stay competitive, they have to invest heavily in expanding facilities, modernizing operations and automating processes. Cloud services may have initially seemed too lightweight or impermanent for a sector focused on tangible assets.

We’ve seen this perception shift over time as cloud technology proved its mettle and might. In the 2017 State of Manufacturing Technology report, 90 percent of manufacturers surveyed were using cloud-based productivity applications. As they gain confidence in their use, they are adopting cloud applications in greater volume. In fact, some manufacturing firms have initiated a cloud-first strategy, looking to the cloud as the first option for any new application and requiring justifications for any new projects that favor on-premise hardware or software.

The cloud offers a wealth of benefits that become more readily apparent with each passing day, including: ease of use, security, flexibility, cost, smoother upgrades, on-demand service, scalability, pooled resources, integration, portability (to devices such as smartphones and tablets), operational efficiency, data storage, decision-making support, productivity and collaboration.

Let’s explore a few of these benefits in more detail:

Ease of Use

Manufacturers are accustomed to waiting for new computing systems and applications to be ready. The traditional model was to figure out what you wanted and either develop the system or purchase it. Either way, months would go by in design and development, or evaluation and procurement. Testing would add more time and implementation could take many months — even years in the case of large-scale projects. At the end of that runway, the results might not fulfill initial hopes, or business objectives might have shifted away from the planned capabilities.

With the cloud, companies have the chance to add software and systems rapidly. In some cases, it can be done in a few hours. If a major migration of data is required, it no longer requires weeks of clogging up the network with information transfer. Instead, cloud providers have the ability to bring a small data transfer box into your business. You upload the data, ship the unit to the cloud provider, and they load it onto their systems.

Flexibility and Cost

When it comes to hardware, organizations are used to overbuying. They know that if they run out of capacity or compute power, it can take them some time to gain purchase approval for new equipment, order it, install it and integrate it into the infrastructure. The time-honored solution has been to forecast how much you might possibly need over the next couple of years and purchase accordingly.

The cloud, on the other hand, is all about only paying for what you use. Providers can ramp services and capacity up or down rapidly to suit organizational demand. If the Christmas period or the quarter end brings a massive upsurge in traffic or usage, the cloud vendor provisions more resources for that period. When the rush is over, service levels fall back to normal. As a result, manufacturers gain access to the resources they need without having to pay a premium for internal data center infrastructure that may be underutilized for most of the year. This flexibility is one of the primary benefits of moving to the cloud.


Data storage is another problem that the cloud eliminates. Manufacturers are accumulating mountains of Big Data due to the rise of the Internet of Things and digital transformation. This creates new challenges around data storage and management. Internal storage is expensive – particularly in the capacities required by smart factories.

The cloud offers access to abundant and cheap storage. Some providers even offer tiered services. You can buy slightly higher priced plans for top tier data to which you need the fastest possible access. But the bulk of data can be relegated to lower-cost cloud tiers or even sent to a cloud archive at the cheapest rates. This leaves information available without burdening IT with the challenges of storing, monitoring, securing, and managing data internally.

Perhaps the biggest benefit cloud services provide is to lighten the decision-making burden for already strapped IT departments. It isn’t easy to set up an internal infrastructure to host all organizational information, purchase enough compute power to address big data, and develop the applications that can glean real insight from that data. In fact, such undertakings are very expensive and many manufacturing IT teams lack the necessary expertise and experience. Data scientists, big data analysts, and information security specialists are in short supply. The cloud bypasses most of these problems by offering access to top-of-the-line analytics applications that can crunch through organizational information to isolate evolving trends. Cloud providers are staffed with experts and have implemented similar infrastructure and services many times over. Offloading this burden opens the door to higher profitability, increased efficiency and competitive advantage, while also removing risk and allowing internal IT to stay focused on priority projects.

As manufacturers move through the thrilling and vexing experiences of digital transformation, adopting cloud services when they are good fit can help leaders and IT teams stay focused on innovation, customer needs, and building towards future opportunities.

Whitepaper: Digital Manufacturing

iBase-t Introduces ‘Cloud-Ready’ Digital Manufacturing Solution

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.Oct. 18, 2018  iBase-t, a leading provider of digital manufacturing, MRO and quality software solutions, today announced that its Digital Manufacturing Suite, including flagship Solumina product, can be deployed and managed in a variety of cloud environments including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. With a cloud delivery model, customers will leverage native services to quickly create and deploy a variety of applications and manage regular platform updates more efficiently.

Cloud deployment also supports direct manufacturing capabilities enterprise-wide and avoidance of silo processes and systems. This enables manufacturers to have better visibility and control of their manufacturing operations with lower cost of ownership, higher security, better performance management, troubleshooting, automatic product updates and simplified implementation for complex, highly regulated discrete manufacturers.

The company’s newly introduced cloud capabilities, along with variety of native services available in cloud service providers, will help manufacturers establish and maintain a modern manufacturing infrastructure to harness advances in model-based functionality like augmented reality guidance for the workforce, IIoT connectivity for the equipment, new levels of intelligence for decision making, and higher levels of customer and supply chain collaboration.  In addition, the cloud provides an abundant library of native services that drive seamless adaption of different technologies.

“Our cloud-ready solution represents the natural evolution of our Digital Manufacturing Suite,” said Sung Kim, Chief Technology Officer of iBase-t. “We look forward to helping our clients migrate to a cloud environment to drive greater efficiency and control over their manufacturing operations and the ‘digital thread,’ connecting operations and sustainment management in a seamless flow of data across the value chain and product lifecycle.”

iBase-t recently partnered with a large aerospace and defense manufacturer on the development of a manufacturing execution system for an innovative new aircraft. This included managing its manufacturing floor to support both the ramp-up from prototype to production and an aggressively increasing production rate. As part of the project, iBase-t supported its plan to deploy new user interfaces for its production database utilizing AWS GovCloud, due to the ease of implementation and simplified procurement, compared to more traditional, on-premises solutions.


About iBase-t

iBase-t is a leading provider of software solutions for complex, highly regulated industries, like Aerospace and Defense, Medical Devices, Nuclear, Industrial Equipment, Electronics, and Shipbuilding. iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing software streamlines and integrates Manufacturing Execution System and Operations Management (MES/MOM)Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS) for operations and Supplier Quality Management. iBase-t’s software is implemented by many leading industrial organizations as part of their enterprise Digital Thread initiatives. 

iBase-t’s Ladeira Poonian Honored as Outstanding Private Technology Company CEO

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.Oct. 1, 2018  iBase-t, a leading provider of manufacturing, MRO and quality software solutions to complex, highly regulated industries, announced today that Ladeira Poonian, Chief Executive Officer, was named Outstanding Private Technology Company CEO at the OCTANe High Tech Innovation Awards ceremony at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, September 27th, 2018. Award winners and finalists were chosen from over 80 companies in the Orange County Area.

Poonian was recognized for her leadership and influence reshaping the modern manufacturing industry through world-class customer care, entrepreneurialism and product innovation. Under her leadership, iBase-t has established itself as a software leader for manufacturers in complex, highly regulated industries to modernize and streamline production by improving product quality and integrating global supply chains, all while managing costs and scaling with demand.

“I am honored to have been selected as Outstanding Private Technology Company CEO among so many other highly impressive business leaders,” said Poonian. “I am proud of the stellar reputation we have built within the manufacturing sector as well as the outstanding culture we have created throughout the company as a great place to work. I would like to thank the entire team at iBase-t for their continued hard work and dedication as we continue to offer innovative solutions for complex discrete manufacturers.”

“We are especially focused on driving manufacturing innovation and excellence in Southern California by hiring the best and brightest in our industry, while also giving back to the local community,” added Poonian.

iBase-t has grown to more than 220 employees with over 80 in the local Lake Forrest, CA area. The company recruits actively from the local community, which includes many of the best and brightest minds in technology.

Photos and videos from the awards ceremony will be available on the HTA Website at


About iBase-t

iBase-t is a leading provider of software solutions for complex, highly regulated industries, like Aerospace and Defense, Medical Devices, Nuclear, Industrial Equipment, Electronics, and Shipbuilding. iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing software streamlines and integrates Manufacturing Execution System and Operations Management (MES/MOM)Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS) for operations and Supplier Quality Management. iBase-t’s software is implemented by many leading industrial organizations as part of their enterprise Digital Thread initiatives.