The manufacturing industry is adopting cloud technology to protect business continuity, reduce IT overhead, and improve productivity, efficiency, and autonomy. According to a Palo Alto Networks report, nearly 70% of companies are hosting more than 50% of their workloads in the cloud and overall cloud adoption has grown by 25% in the past year.
Having your labeling software hosted via cloud technology allows print users to access a simple label printing interface while removing the burden of IT maintenance, such as server management, software upgrades, and local installations.
If you’re not sure if the cloud is right for your labeling environment, give us a call. We can help assess what you’re doing today and all the elements of labeling that may be impacted by either deploying software in the cloud or moving data to the cloud.
This blog will cover the differences in cloud services, the customer environments we frequently see leveraging cloud technology for enterprise labeling, and the benefits of cloud-enabled labeling.
If you have a cloud first policy guiding IT strategies and investments or are looking for ways to remove the hassle of maintaining and updating systems, leveraging cloud technology could be a great fit for your labeling environment. But the cloud can mean a variety of things when it comes to labeling – printing labels with cloud data or hosting your enterprise label management software on a cloud server.
When people say cloud, the first thing we help them understand is the difference between public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and SaaS (software as a service).
Many of our large enterprise clients deploy TEKLYNX CENTRAL label management solution on a private cloud server with CODESOFT barcode label design software installed locally. Or sometimes, CODESOFT is also on a private cloud and label design users leverage RDP (remote desktop protocol) to access it. This enables secure label printing anywhere in the world.
It’s hard to know what’s best for your environment without discussing all the factors and assessing your current labeling processes, which is why we’re here to help. Lean on your technology partners to help determine your ideal cloud-enabled labeling solution based on your environment and goals.
Since there’s no one type of cloud-enabled labeling that’s right for everyone, how do you know if leveraging the cloud is right for your labeling environment? While it’s not an exhaustive list of ways we see our customers leveraging the cloud, these scenarios are common use cases where the organization could benefit from cloud-enabled labeling.
If you want to enable label printing for 10+ locations outside of your network. A browser-based label printing interface is ideal for companies that want to standardize label printing at multiple locations, but those locations are not all on the same network. Instead of having local installations of your labeling software on every single workstation across your entire organization, browser-based printing allows you to manage one or more web page label printing interfaces from one location that securely deploys to users across all facilities.
If you have contract manufacturers and suppliers. Your enterprise labeling software can be leveraged outside of your business by allowing contract manufacturers and suppliers to print accurate labels via a customized browser-based label printing interface. With contract manufacturers and suppliers, the value-add is taking away their ability to print incorrect labels. And you can quickly deploy label printing to contract manufacturers and suppliers, while still managing the process centrally.
If you have a small IT department. Deploying your label printing system in the cloud takes the burden off internal resources. Centralized label management controls help system administrators coordinate licensing. System-wide settings can be defined in a single location and rolled out across your entire global organization. Browser-based access eliminates the need for individual workstation installations.
There are some barriers to cloud-enabled labeling, including security, reliability, and compliance. With the development of technology, cloud solutions have improved their security, but the cloud is not 100% reliable or the best fit for some manufacturers – cloud servers go down, internet connections fail, and outages occur. And for highly regulated industries, there may be regulations that impact the use of cloud technology. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) doesn’t prohibit the storage of protected health information in the cloud, but it does require certain privacy and security protections be in place to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.
Now, let’s get into the business benefits.
One of the biggest advantages of using the cloud for business continuity is that label data can be accessed from anywhere. This helps minimize downtime of critical business functions in the event of an outage, since employees can access data from virtually anywhere. Also, a reliable cloud service provider gives companies many ways to avoid data loss, including built-in redundancy, failover, backup, automatic logging, and monitoring – allowing for shorter recovery time compared with on-premises alternatives.
As a business, your main objective is to make a profit, and minimizing IT expenses helps your bottom line. With cloud-enabled labeling, you forgo the costs of purchasing or updating servers and hardware for setting up or maintaining your own datacenter. You also minimize the need for IT professionals to manage your servers and the electricity bill that comes with running an on-premise server. If reducing IT expenses is your number one goal, you can use a cloud-enabled labeling solution or cloud server that TEKLYNX assists you in managing.
With cloud technology, there’s no need to purchase on-premise systems, hardware, and individual software licenses, making it easy to redistribute resources to other initiatives. If you’re considering migrating aspects of your labeling to the cloud, get in touch so we can better understand your needs and discuss the best labeling software and hosting options for your business.
Casey Sciano is an Enterprise Executive at TEKLYNX. He uses his 15+ years of sales and technical experience and knowledge of the AIDC space to support enterprise label management clients. Casey strives to help clients "see the forest through the trees" by utilizing sound business strategies and sales techniques that impact the way they do business. When not working, he loves spending time with his dog Josie and cheering on the Brewers, Bucks, and Packers.
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If your company has multiple locations, you may face the challenge of having inconsistent labels across your organization. Are your labels the same format? Are all your locations leveraging label files that pull data from the correct data source? Are your suppliers using compliant labels?
With the correct enterprise labeling software, streamlining your label printing across multiple locations is no longer a challenge!
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