Six benefits of SaaS for automotive manufacturing

Last updated on March 22nd, 2024

The dawn of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) enabled automotive manufacturers to innovate and build products of higher complexity, which brought new challenges to the manufacturing line. Thankfully, Industry 4.0 also brought advanced systems and tools to help automakers optimize production, ensure smoother workflows, and deliver higher quality products. Many different types of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is now available for different departments of a manufacturing company, such as finance, human resources, quality control, and logistics.

Compared to traditional on-premise systems that require their own servers, with applications that need to be installed, configured, and maintained, cloud-based SaaS solutions are much more agile, flexible, and scalable.

Below are six advantage of using software-as-a-service for automotive manufacturers:

1. Software-as-a-service saves money

Cloud-based SaaS manufacturing solutions are typically less expensive than traditional on-premise systems because the software license costs are based on a subscription model. You only pay for the services you use, saving you the expense of unnecessary hardware and IT support fees. 

Additionally, since the service provider manages the SaaS environment on behalf of more than one customer, the fees for using the solution, plus maintenance and update costs, are shared, meaning even greater cost savings.

Any digital file storage needed for the application, for example large volumes of automotive manufacturing data, is more affordable in the cloud compared to local storage of data and files.

Cloud-based SaaS manufacturing solutions are less expensive than on-premise systems.

2. SaaS can be implemented quickly

Since the software is based in the cloud, no installation is needed. No compatibility requirements need to be considered between existing computer systems or servers and the application. Any laptop or desktop computer than can use a web browser can access a SaaS solution.

The amount of time saved on installation and configuration compared to traditional software solutions, means the time to value is significantly shorter. You can start using the software and reap the benefits right away.

Software updates are performed automatically by the SaaS provider in real time, ensuring uninterrupted operations. This eliminates the need to set aside dedicated time and resources to make software updates.

3. The cloud offers unmatched security for automotive manufacturers

Reliable and secure SaaS manufacturing solutions are hosted in their own Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to ensure enhanced enterprise isolation and 24/7 uptime. Your enterprise security is further protected by employing advanced data encryption protocols, to guarantee your sensitive data is fully secured. 

This security is critical for automotive manufacturers who want to ensure that their manufacturing and process data is kept confidential.

Advanced data encryption protocols guarantees that data is fully secured.

4. SaaS can scale easily

Cloud-based SaaS applications can easily scale to accommodate growing data volumes and user counts, facilitating data sharing among larger groups and more extensive datasets. Scaling traditional software often requires additional hardware and can be limited by the capacity of the existing infrastructure… or require more investment in this area to grow physical capacity.

Many SaaS solutions use a multi-tenant architecture, where a single instance of the application serves multiple customers. This approach allows efficient utilization of resources and easy scaling for a growing number of users.

The automotive manufacturing industry is fast-paced and constantly shifting to adopt to new products and innovations. Using SaaS can ensure that common systems are used across multiple facilities, and can easily adapt to grow when greenfield plants get up and running. With traditional software and on-premise data storage, the up-front investment in software and hardware required for data storage may be lost when one plant closes. This is not a concern with SaaS.

5. Smooth data migration and sharing

Sharing data between Software as a Service (SaaS) applications offers numerous advantages over traditional software, primarily due to the inherent characteristics of cloud-based services. Many SaaS providers design their applications with integration in mind, offering APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and built-in connectors for seamless data exchange with other cloud services. Traditional software often stores data locally or in isolated systems, complicating data sharing. This means that it could require custom-built solutions or middleware to make integrations possible.

SaaS applications often use standardized data formats and protocols, which makes it easier to exchange and interpret data across different systems. Traditional software might use proprietary formats, necessitating additional translation or conversion steps.

As the automotive manufacturing industry becomes more digitized, it is important for Tier-1s to consider a future where OEMs may require access to certain types of manufacturing or quality data via the cloud.

6. SaaS reduces the IT burden

With cloud-based SaaS solutions, you shouldn’t have to rely on your IT team when there is a problem with your software or when an upgrade becomes available. As part of the subscription, a SaaS service provider usually includes maintaining and upgrading the software when needed and resolving other problems related to its use without any additional charges or fees.

Because SaaS providers handle the underlying infrastructure, IT teams are freed from many tasks associated with maintaining on-premises servers and software, such as applying patches and managing backups. This allows them to focus on optimizing data flows and integrations. This can give more autonomy to individual automotive manufacturing plants who may rely on an overburdened central IT team.

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