With upcoming technologies, economic instability, and increasing regulation applying pressure on the consumer electronics industry, companies will face more complex supply chains, shrinking product life cycles, uncertain demand, and decreasing revenues. Within this dynamic scenario, cloud computing offers a new path for sustainable, efficient, and flexible growth. Gartner forecasts that the cloud services market will grow 16.6% in 2020 ($249.8 billion) and by 2022, 90% of organizations across industries will be using cloud services.
Consumer electronics leaders share their top reasons to adopt cloud computing as improved internal business-process efficiency, increased customer demand, and expanded sales channels. Using a combination of cloud based services, DevOps services and analytics, companies can accelerate time-to-market and enhance their customer’s experience as well.
For the electronics industry, cloud computing services offer the potential to redefine customer relationships management, improve governance and transparency, transform operations and expand business agility. Let us see how cloud can stimulate benefits for the consumer electronics industry.
Improved operational efficiency for businesses
The development of cloud computing, web services, and service oriented architecture, is the key to providing the integration that will open up the field to improved collaboration and operational efficiency. Cloud computing service providers allow companies (big or small) to move a part or all of their operations from a local network to the cloud platform, thereby making it easier for them to access a host of facilities such as data storage, processing, and much more.
To illustrate, managing content deployment and OTA for 70K+ on-field connected devices for a leading electronics manufacturer of touch screen displays and POS devices would not have been easy without cloud device management Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Cloud based portal enabled their user subscription & management, content upload, add/update devices, and configurations all on single portal within a click, thus, simplifying processes and improving operational efficiency with anytime anywhere access.
Also, a standard transition of business applications to cloud is seen where organizations deploy SAP/ CRM on the cloud providing flexible accessibility and simplified setup for servers/software.
Moreover, applying DevOps methodology in the cloud enhances collaboration between teams, boosts the efficiency of the application development cycle, optimizes product quality and saves time. DevOps practices and tools that help the businesses run faster and smoother by automating key steps with standardization.
Personalized customer management and relationships
In addition to bringing buyers and sellers together on the online marketplace, consumer electronics companies can add value by generating personalized product recommendations for buyers with the help of cloud computing and analytics. Because of the cloud’s expanded computing power and capacity, it can store information about user preferences, its location, and run algorithms to derive intelligent insights enabling product or service customization. For example, a leading consumer electronics brand inferred their user preferences from buying behavior and usage patterns, and used that analytics to offer customized advertisements, offers and suggestions. Ultimately, this paradigm facilitates a host of possibilities, from radically improving the performance of current devices and services that benefits the companies, to delivering improved customer satisfaction ensuring customer loyalty.
Benefits of cloud computing to consumer electronics
Enabled businesses with faster time to market and reduced cost
Competitive advantage created by going to market first with innovative new products, be it feature-rich or value-driven is critically important in the electronics industry. Electronics OEMs have made dramatic reductions in the product development cycle time with product life cycle management (PLM) systems, but the development process still remains inefficient and time consuming. Multiple ready to use development and managed services like AWS IoT core, EC2, API gateway, Cognito, S3, Azure Blob Storage, Virtual Machines, and many more from leading cloud providers helps expedite collaborative product development by reducing developer’s work.
With cloud, companies can enforce standardized protocols, synchronize information between systems and access a centralized database provided by infrastructure-as-a-service. With automation and standardization, OEMs can improve development efficiency and avoid costly downstream errors. This helps to speed time to market and time to value, which in turn yields a critical competitive advantage.
Also, organizations adapting to serverless cloud architecture, on-demand database connectivity and pay as you go model enables to shift their IT capital cost to an operational or variable cost.
Simplified partner/vendor ecosystem connectivity
One of the major business enablers powered by cloud is ecosystem connectivity. Cloud facilitates collaboration with value chain partners and customers, which can lead to improvements in productivity and increased innovation. Cloud-based platforms can bring together disparate groups of people who can collaborate and share resources, information and processes. The recent trend of “open innovation” is powered via cloud-based software solutions that connect parties (companies, partners, distributors) and facilitate the sharing of ideas. There are also cloud based deal management platforms streamlining the presentation, negotiation, invoicing, and reconciliation of trade promotions received from company’s vendors, distributors in a secure, cloud environment. This put an end to the numerous emails, faxes and spreadsheets that are typically exchanged, reducing errors that are often associated with this kind of communication.
Data driven demand forecasting and decision making
Efficient management of inventory is one of the common challenges faced in the Consumer Electronics industry. It is difficult for giant consumer electronics that manufacture multiple products and manage large distribution channels at different locations to check or manage their stock in real-time and predict future demands. With cloud computing and data analytics, they can have wide visibility of their stocks, market, consumer preferences and competition at global level.
Cloud offers access to real-time data, cloud architecture and analytics platforms to build both predictive and prescriptive inventory forecasting that significantly decreases their issues such as stocks shortage or surplus, enabling better decision making and managed inventories. Moreover, company executives can access data and stocks at any time and from anywhere to check the real-time stock availability.
To succeed with cloud, consumer electronics companies have to assess its impact on the operating model and determine successive actions for more effective cloud adoption. Cloud computing services including architecture, development, deployment, migration, optimization of cloud solutions and cloud data analytics helps consumer companies transform their business model and operations with enhanced flexibility, scalability and efficiency elevating their businesses to the next level.
About the Author
Dhruvesh Soni is associated with VOLANSYS Technologies as Principle Engineer for over 6 years. He has diversified experience of developing solutions for domains like Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and more across multiple industries bringing in value to our client's solutions.