A simplified definition of cloud computing means a third-party solution provider offers its software through a monthly subscription fee, with no upfront fees for hardware and software. This drastically different model carries many other advantages aside from lower upfront costs. Because Internet access is the only requirement, managing your business is now achievable anywhere in the world an Internet connection can be found. Cloud-based solutions enable manufacturers to focus on their core business without the traditional IT management concerns of system upgrades, database management, virus patches, system integration, and data archiving and retrieval. Cloud solutions enable the processor to be more agile in responding to changing business requirements. These benefits give manufacturers a significant competitive advantage in a low margin, highly competitive marketplace.
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