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By Sherry Aaholm, VP & CIO, Cummins
Enhancing Flexibility through Cloud Computing
When looking at the benefits of cloud computing, you have to start with customer satisfaction. Customers are demanding high levels of services in return for their loyalty. By entering this new era of intelligent and sustainable technology, automakers and manufacturers will need to demonstrate and deliver real value.
“Although cloud computing enhances flexibility, improves access to data, and reduces cost, it must be balanced with the appropriate level of information security”
Cloud computing provides other benefits such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) that allows for self-service capabilities without having the complexities of purchasing, managing, and maintaining basic hardware and software requirements on a day-to-day basis. It also enables quicker deployment of information that helps automakers and manufacturers move past the era of siloed IT and into one that promotes collaboration with partners, suppliers, and customers.
Cummins has effectively leveraged cloud resources to address the need for additional High Performance Computing (HPC) re¬sources in the engineering space. We also released a handheld device which brings the ease of adjusting engine features and pa¬rameters at the very fingertips of our customers. The introduction of cloud computing also provides a centralized lens that allows us to track what is happening or what will happen at each step of the manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain processes.
Although cloud computing enhances flexibility, improves access to data, and reduces cost, it must be balanced with the appropriate level of information security. As noted by the recent data losses and breaches, it is important to critically assess cloud providers security capabilities, and adequately determine the data allowed to be moved outside a company’s trusted network.
Driving Business Success through Data Integration
When examining the effectiveness and proactive use of data, you have to start by integrating core business processes and technology systems that allows for timely and efficient delivery of products and services to the customer. This type of integration, better known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), streamlines the flow of data including other production-critical components through a series of interconnected applications and dashboards. By having a fully integrated ERP platform, organizations can overcome the challenge of isolated data through the use of a common architecture that improves overall performance.
Your Role as CIO
I have only been at Cummins for 18 months. My focus during this time has been on standardizing IT, restructuring IT, and building credibility with the business on the ability of IT to