Digital transformation in the Manufacturing sector: considerations for success

Posted by Tim Cardinal on Nov 18, 2021 Last updated Jul 28, 2023

Across the manufacturing spectrum, the demand for improved agility, consistent quality, security, resilience and sustainability is driving change. From electronics, apparel and robotics to aerospace, plastics and food, the need is the same. To enable this change, manufacturing companies are looking to harness the power of technology to create a roadmap towards digital transformation. Given the challenges faced by the manufacturing sector, this is no longer an option, it is now a business imperative.

At Transvault, we understand how important digital transformation is for manufacturers, and the steps they should take to success. One of the most important steps is email archive migration. More than 180 manufacturing companies have trusted us to migrate their email archives with a seamless transition to their new cloud platforms.

We understand that manufacturers are concerned about disruptions to users, cyber security, losing sensitive data and meeting compliance requirements. At Transvault we have the experience and ability to ensure the email archive migration process runs smoothly. In this blog we explain how.

Digital transformation for manufacturing

From lowering the cost of production and being faster to market, to improving supply chain integrations and enhancing data management, there are a multitude of reasons why manufacturers are moving towards digital transformation.

Since Industry 4.0 first heralded the introduction of the new digitalized era for manufacturing, companies have been transitioning at pace with the aim of future-proofing their business. As a result, the market is growing. Research suggests that the global cloud-based manufacturing sector will reach $131.5 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 22.9%. And while initially many organizations chose to take a hybrid-cloud approach, more are now leaving behind on-premises technology in favor of a cloud-first model.

Read more on how email archive migrations are a key part of a digital transformation roadmap for manufacturers.

Why manufacturers are moving to cloud computing

In manufacturing, it is primarily corporate systems that are being migrated onto the cloud, with some operational systems gradually being moved across. Manufacturing businesses indicate that this provides:

  • Integrated systems including supply chain management, product lifecycle development, ERP and CRM. These provide 365˚ visibility across all business processes as well as allowing manufacturers to close the gap between their front and back-office functions.
  • The ability to scale capacity automatically to manage increasing or fluctuating production demands.
  • Faster deployments and a speedier response to events. Applications can be developed and deployed quickly, and product development is enhanced through simplification of processes and unlimited computing resource.
  • As-a-service tools such as SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provide manufacturers with a host of resources they can use to manage any IT challenge without the risk of obsolescence and with all the advantages of automatic updates.
  • Significant savings in resource, maintenance, physical hardware and premises. These are costs that can be invested back into the business.
  • Improved collaboration by eliminating silos, particularly for employees working across different plants in multiple countries.
  • Regulatory confidence. Cloud providers can offer platforms that meet with compliance requirements, and they can provide back-up and recovery capabilities.

Find out how Transvault helped a large manufacturing company migrate 40TBs of data to Microsoft Office 365.

Digital transformation and sustainability

As manufacturers commit to Net Zero, their digitalization efforts will also contribute positively towards environmental sustainability. Increasing efficiencies across all aspects of the business and throughout the product lifecycle will lower carbon emissions and optimize energy efficiency.

Managing manufacturing supply chain challenges

Recent supply chain disruptions only serve to highlight the vulnerability of production and manufacturing processes.

However, the traditional supply chain is undergoing significant change, and this will allow issues such as the global shortage of silicon chips to be quickly resolved.

Amongst the advantages of digital transformation in manufacturing supply chains are:

  • Smart technologies that allow real-time asset tracking or sensors that can ascertain delays and disruptions in production workflows.
  • Improved data management and analysis to accurately predict demand and forecast changes.
  • Transparent collaboration across all stakeholders to build an accurate picture of inventory, supply and shipping.
  • Improved defenses against cyberattacks. With greater collaboration and transparency amongst ecosystem partners and enforceable security solutions deployed to protect cloud networks, bad actors have less opportunity to attack.

The challenges of digital transformation for manufacturing

While adopting digital technology can bring so many advantages, that doesn’t mean the road to transformation is always easy. The impact of digitalization on manufacturing is so great that it is described as the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. It represents a step-change in how manufacturing moves from the introduction of computers to the prospect of smart systems that require no human involvement and rely instead on robotics, IoT and automation.

The cloud has become integral to this revolution, storing data and optimizing equipment and operations. However, moving to the cloud necessarily means moving away from legacy IT systems. Long established manufacturers have found this more challenging because they are encumbered with technical debt from their on-premises hardware. This can delay the process of digitalization. Some have chosen to take a step-by-step approach, assessing the benefits of each technology they deploy first before moving to the next.

Other roadblocks identified by manufacturers in migrating to the cloud include:

  • Employee skills and buy-in. According to research carried out by Gartner earlier this year,  57% of manufacturing leaders believe their organisation lacks skilled workers to support digitization.
  • action plans. Gartner said that new workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills.
  • Cyber security. The integration of security is a major concern for many manufacturers yet to make the move to the cloud. This is exacerbated by the rise in cyber incidents. The Global Threat Intelligence Report for 2021, for example, found that attacks against manufacturing had increased by 300% in just one year.
  • Technology and data. It is widely acknowledged that moving to the cloud requires considerable changes in infrastructure. Recent research found that more than a quarter of IT directors in manufacturing were concerned about slow performance when running applications in the cloud. Finding a platform that suits the manufacturing business, and the right cloud service provider is challenging but essential. In addition, manufacturers face the issue of moving data which has been held on local servers to maintain stringent security.
road system showing email archive migration complexities
road system showing email archive migration complexities

Transvault has pioneered the migration market space and has produced a benchmark whereby all migration companies are measured.

Dennis Wild Product Manager Hewlett Packard

The digital transformation imperative

Despite these concerns, digital transformation is essential for the manufacturing sector. This is because organisations cannot afford the luxury of continuing to operate in the same way they always have if they want to survive, let alone compete.

While transformation can be daunting, it can also be liberating. The process of moving applications and all the data you hold onto the cloud, will provide:

  • vastly improved management
  • increased storage space
  • broader, more accurate view of the entire production lifecycle
  • a reduction in IT costs
  • better performance
  • enhanced profitability

Why now? Because in the wake of the global pandemic with pressure on supply chains, manufacturers need to be resilient and agile enough to accommodate shifts and shocks and maximize opportunities to re-emerge stronger than before.

Email archiving on the digital transformation roadmap

An essential element of digital transformation in manufacturing is the smooth migration of communication and collaboration tools that all organisations rely on, particularly if teams are working across multiple geographies or sites. For many manufacturers this will mean moving their entire email archive.

Manufacturing companies already using Microsoft 365 have an advantage. In terms of security, significant resources have been built into the Microsoft 365 cloud environment to ensure users are protected from threats. Because it provides access to all data in one place, it can supply valuable insight enabling decisions to be made more quickly, innovations to be scaled, and the workforce to be upskilled. In addition, unlike with on-premises systems or third-party solutions, Microsoft 365 will be automatically updated with compliance policy changes relating to emails and will alert manufacturers if they need to act.

At Transvault, we can help you migrate your email archive to Microsoft 365. Our specialist partners and services team provide expert coordination and a proven cloud-agnostic approach which is secure, robust, adaptable and extensible.

Because we have worked with many manufacturers, we have the experience to make the process of migrating email archives easy. From the straightforward to the uniquely complex, Transvault has successfully migrated large volumes of data. This means we understand the key questions that will be asked:

  • How do we go about managing an email archive migration?
  • How can we minimize disruption to our workforce or productivity?
  • How can we ensure the migration is secure and traceable?
  • Would it be best to have a phased approach to archiving our emails to the cloud?
  • How quickly can we demonstrate ROI of the migration?

Migrating to the cloud with Transvault

Over 15 years of experience gives us a unique perspective on the challenges and benefits of email archive migration as part of a broader digital transformation strategy. We have worked with manufacturers of all sizes and our technology has been proven to deliver success time after time.

We understand that it is always helpful to hear about other companies’ experiences, and this case study illustrates how one customer moved 40TB of legacy email archives as it switched its IT systems to Office 365.

Why should you choose Transvault to help you?

  • We built the world’s first Email Archive Migrator, and since then we’ve delivered over 2,600 successful projects across multiple industries. We continue to innovate across a suite of world class tools.
  • We have managed complex projects for manufacturers in all parts of the world and using multiple archive platforms.
  • Our technology will make the project efficient and allay any fears relating to security. We can manage migration throughput between on-premises legacy archive and Microsoft 365 of 6.7TBs per day.
  • Our priority is ensuring your employees and users are up and running quickly and we minimize the involvement of the IT support team
  • Full chain of custody provides data integrity checks, audit reports and remediation services.

In this blog we have outlined why digital transformation is gathering pace in the manufacturing sector, the importance of the cloud, and why email archive migration to the cloud is a crucial element in delivering ‘access anywhere’ capabilities to organisations.

We understand that every manufacturing company is different and what they need to support a smooth transition from beginning to end is a tailored approach. Transvault is the ideal partner to provide this support.

Contact our team today on 648 808 0407 or email us to discuss your cloud migration

Also, please find more information on how we support email archive migrations in the manufacturing sector.

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Relevant resources

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Infographic highlighting why Transvault is the best choice for your email archive migration.

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