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The findings come from a study conducted during the recent Manufacturing ISV Cloud Summit, sponsored by Salesforce, ICIC, Propel, Rootstock and Tavant Technologies. Perhaps the study's most intriguing implication is that as these companies move their operations, engineering and manufacturing to the cloud, platforms originally developed for sales and marketing – such as Salesforce – may become the backbone of all enterprise software.
Key findings from the survey include:
• Manufacturing companies have reaped big rewards and lower costs from their early internal cloud adoption: Over 60 percent of respondents said cloud apps have helped them realize internally focused benefits. Higher employee productivity, process automation, data visibility and lower IT costs ranked as the top cloud benefits.
• The shift to cloud solutions will accelerate quickly: Eighty percent of operations departments, 70 percent of engineering groups and 59 percent of manufacturing departments expect to grow their use of enterprise cloud apps dramatically by 2017.
• Surprisingly, IT decision-makers in manufacturing, operations and engineering have been more cautious than their marketing and sales counterparts in adopting cloud platforms: Only 19 percent of manufacturing, 20 percent of operations and 25 percent of engineering departments are currently using enterprise cloud apps.
"Manufacturing and operations professionals have clearly realized that building on one common cloud platform throughout an enterprise has enormous benefits, including improved productivity, better automation of information sharing for improved decision-making and greater transparency,"says Brian Roufa, chief marketing officer for ICIX. "With this significant shift in the industry, companies are now moving more and more of their core business functions to the cloud – and are choosing strategic cloud platforms such as Salesforce on which to run their business."
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