Cloud-Based MES (Manufacturing Execution System) Software
Manufacturing Execution System delivered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) via public, private, or hybrid clouds.

Cloud-Based MES (Manufacturing Execution System) Software

Manufacturing Execution System delivered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) via public, private, or hybrid clouds.

What is a Cloud MES?

Cloud MES is a Manufacturing Execution System delivered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) via public, private, or hybrid clouds. The MES vendor provides the software application, while the cloud vendor maintains the hardware, infrastructure, and internet access.

Cloud MES software removes the burden of physical infrastructure and extended IT staff. Instead, technology is offloaded to the cloud, making it affordable and practical for most manufacturers.


By the end of 2023, over half of MES will be deployed on public or private clouds. (source)

Why are Manufacturers Moving to Cloud-Based MES?

Cloud-based MES is changing the playing field for manufacturers, because it lowers the cost and risk of entry. This means that even smaller and emerging manufacturers can now afford to use world-class MES solutions.

The Cloud MES market is forecasted to reach $2.34 billion by 2026. (IOT Analytics)

Of course, manufacturers aren’t choosing cloud MES just because the technology is practical.  Modern MES is needed in order to be competitive in today’s global marketplace. The cost-savings, operational improvements, and overall agility of cloud MES can’t be matched by paper systems or old technologies.

Are you ready to join the cloud ecosystem?

There’s a growing industrial ecosystem in the cloud, where manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and others can share resources to create what are essentially virtual organizations capable of changing dynamically on the fly.

Read more about the industrial cloud ecosystem.

What’s the Difference Between Cloud-Based MES and Cloud-Native MES?

Not all cloud-based solutions are equal and it’s important to understand the difference. Cloud-based is a general term that applies to any application that’s available over the cloud on a subscription basis.

Why does it matter? Because some applications available on the cloud are simply legacy applications that have been migrated over. They offer the advantages of a subscription, but not much more.

Cloud-native applications, on the other hand, are designed from the ground up to take full advantage of the cloud and all the modern technologies. They are future-ready by design. Based on microservices technology, a cloud-native architecture offers many benefits over traditional, monolithic applications, including improved scalability, reliability, and maintainability.

You can read more about cloud MES architecture.

Microservices and Cloud-Native Architecture

A core feature of cloud-native applications is a microservices architecture. In this architecture, applications are built as modular services that can be deployed independently. This makes it easier for MES vendors to update applications, and it enables manufacturers to plan and deploy their applications in a modular and targeted way.

Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based MES

There are many benefits to using cloud MES, but one of the most important for growing manufacturers is the ability to convert CapEx to OpEx spending. Subscribing to a SaaS solution, instead of purchasing and maintaining it, does more than reduce the cost of technology. It frees up much-needed capital that manufacturers can use for R&D, production capacity, and other essential activities.

Benefits of Cloud MES Include:

Faster Deployment

Cloud solutions deploy quickly, resulting in cost savings and faster time to value compared to an on-premises counterpart.

Low Cost of Entry

Subscriptions to SaaS applications are affordable for most manufacturers

Low Risk

Without having to make major investments in hardware and software, manufacturers can deploy in careful stages over the cloud, eliminating most of the risk.

24/7 Support

SaaS solutions operate globally and provide 24-hour remote support services.


Cloud solutions can be scaled quickly since they require no infrastructure investment.


Lower resource demands free up IT teams to focus on more important tasks. Cloud MES requires much less oversight after deployment, and upgrades are streamlined and automatic.

Entreprise basée sur un modèle

Cloud MES is a key prerequisite for a Model-Based Enterprise strategy, in which everyone in a company utilizes a unique digital model for every product.


Cloud solutions make it possible for users to authenticate and securely access MES software from anywhere with an internet connection.

A growth path for manufacturers

Cloud MES is a logical choice for many companies, but it may be especially good for emerging and growing manufacturers.

Deploying a SaaS-Based MES Solution

SaaS-Based MES solutions are delivered over the cloud by subscription, so deploying to new users or plants is relatively easy. It removes most of the risk as well as initial costs of most deployments. By leveraging the cloud, you can pick and choose the applications and functions you need, then easily add or update them as needed.

Cloud applications can be deployed quickly too, whether adding new features or deploying to a new factory. Again, you don’t buy the infrastructure, you just subscribe to the solution. In this way, cloud MES improves a manufacturer’s overall operational agility. Often, a deployment or upgrade is as simple as “flipping a switch.”

Deploy in Stages & Fund as You Go

Cloud deployment is ideal for managing digital transformation because it allows you to plan tech adoption in clear increments based on your needs and the projected ROI of each step. You can start by deploying to a single line, department, or plant, and then roll out further deployments when you’re confident of success.

Read more about cloud MES deployment.

What About Cloud MES Security?

Major cloud service providers such as Microsoft and Amazon provide a high level of security—often higher than most manufacturers could achieve on their own. Some cloud providers even offer DoD IL5 security as an option.

However, security should never be taken for granted. iBASEt’s Solumina MES is deployed on an AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), which keeps all resources labeled and privately within that network. There is a dedicated virtual channel from the iBASEt corporate ISP to AWS VPC that hosts Solumina instances. As a result, all information stays under customer control.

Remember, cybersecurity depends on the manufacturer following best practices, not just on the software or the internet. Establish and enforce strong security measures so that only approved personnel have access to your systems.

Cloud MES or On-Premise: Which is Right for You?

While cloud MES offers many advantages, some manufacturers may still choose on-premise solution for reasons of security, control, regulatory compliance, or internet availability. Sometimes organizations land in the middle. Hybrid deployments use elements of both to let manufacturers maintain their own infrastructure while also using cloud technology.

There’s no one answer to whether you should choose cloud or on-premise MES, but here are some issues to consider:


Cloud MES is accessible to everyone with an internet connection. That includes most people, but not all. For businesses in remote or rural areas with limited or unreliable internet connectivity, on-premise computing might be the only practical option.

Up Front Costs

The decision of cloud or on-premise might be a financial one. On-premise solutions require substantial capital to fund hardware, software, and supporting staff, while cloud MES is available simply by subscribing to the solution of your choice.

Dette technique

Technical debt is the long-term cost of technology, which can be in the form of ongoing maintenance and upgrades, but also the burden of aging technology. Cloud MES ensures that you won’t be stuck with old technology.


For an enterprise with strong cybersecurity teams, on-premise systems can be the most secure choice. However, a cloud-based MES solution can offer greater security than many manufacturers would be able to provide themselves.

Scalability & Flexibility

On-premise applications can’t equal the cloud when it comes to scaling and agility. This may be one of the strongest arguments for cloud MES.

You can read a more in-depth discussion of cloud vs. on-premise.

Consider the amount of data you’ll be storing. A fully digitized manufacturing plant produces vast amounts of data, much of which you’ll need to store and access. Make sure you have a handle on data storage demands before you commit to a fully on-premises solution.

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