re:Invent 2020 Recap: How AWS Plans to Accelerate Cloud Adoption in Manufacturing

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It’s no secret: The manufacturing sector has been a late adopter of the enterprise cloud. But the time has arrived to overcome these challenges and start taking full advantage of what the enterprise cloud has to offer.

Fortunately, manufacturers don’t have to do it alone. At re:Invent 2020, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced several new releases to address some of the biggest blockers that have traditionally prevented manufacturers from adopting the enterprise cloud.

How AWS Plans to Address 2 of the Main Cloud Adoption Challenges for Manufacturing

Two main challenges have hindered enterprise cloud adoption in the manufacturing sector:

  1. No clear path to the enterprise cloud from the legacy technologies used in most manufacturing environments
  2. No compelling business case for enterprise cloud adoption beyond Internet of Thing (IoT) logistics

However, the most recent releases from AWS are poised to change this situation and pave the way for manufacturers to make the leap to the enterprise cloud. Here’s how:

Providing a Clear Migration Path from Legacy Technology

AWS has developed best-in-breed design patterns and migration approaches for manufacturers coming from both mainframe and midrange computing. By working with partners like AllCloud, manufacturers can now take advantage of methodical, pressure-tested ways to modernize legacy technologies. 

Importantly, this is not a rip-and-replace approach, but rather one that helps manufacturers fully take advantage of the enterprise cloud by modernizing both processes and technology simultaneously.

The biggest example of AWS’ commitment to providing this type of clear path is their launch of a new competency focused on mainframe migrations. This focus positions AWS and its top tier partners as the ideal choice for manufacturers who are serious about making the leap to the enterprise cloud and doing so in a highly organized and constructive way.

Developing a Compelling Business Case to Justify Cloud Adoption

AWS has invested considerably in helping manufacturers develop a compelling business case for the move to the cloud. Perhaps this is not surprising given that AWS’ top management principle is “Customer First,” which they define as starting with a customer problem and working back from there to the simplest and most efficient answer. Taking this approach, AWS has increased its commitment to the manufacturing sector by investing heavily in solving real business problems. The outcome of this investment came to fruition when AWS announced three significant advancements at re:Invent 2020:

  • Introducing predictive maintenance: Historically, manufacturers have not had access to the appropriate technology and talent to use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to proactively model and address maintenance needs for plant equipment. AWS launched Amazon Monitron to change this situation. Amazon Monitron is an end-to-end solution that incorporates IoT Monitron sensors that feed prebuilt Machine Learning models in AWS, thereby significantly lowering the barrier to entry for manufacturers to introduce predictive maintenance for plant equipment.
  • Maturing predictive maintenance: Despite the challenges noted above, some manufacturers have succeeded at introducing sensors into their more advanced equipment to begin powering predictive maintenance. But this approach only goes so far, and many manufacturers in this group have struggled to continue maturing these operations. In response, AWS launched Amazon Lookout for Equipment, which is a series of APIs and prebuilt Machine Learning models to feed existing plant equipment data into these more advanced models to unblock further advancements in predictive maintenance.
  • Introducing Computer Vision (CV) technologies: One big area of growth for manufacturers and industrial and logistics companies has been the introduction of CV technologies, or smart cameras and technology for anomaly detection and predictive analytics. In most cases, these solutions have been too complicated, proprietary and cost prohibitive for manufacturers to adopt. AWS aims to change this by releasing a new appliance called AWS Panorama. AWS Panorama gets installed at the plant site and uses the existing camera IP technology onsite to provide CV analysis and predictive capabilities — all at a fraction of the effort and the cost of previously released solutions.

Successfully Bringing the Enterprise Cloud to Manufacturing with AWS 

Through these announcements and others, including continued IoT innovation and the 2019 launch of Outpost to extend the power of AWS to on-premise manufacturing sites, AWS has demonstrated that it is truly committed to helping the manufacturing sector solve their business problems at the speed of cloud. 

Interested in learning more about how AWS can help your manufacturing organization harness the power of the enterprise cloud to achieve the vision of the “Connected Factory”? Contact AllCloud today to find out how we can help.  

Eric Crump

SVP, AWS North American Practice Lead

Read more posts by Eric Crump