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Cloud-Based Data Management Challenges and Opportunities

Key Takeaways

  • The challenges of managing data at the corporate level.

  • The basics of cloud-based data management and how it can help.

  • How cloud-based data management is being used by original equipment manufacturers to simplify their business model.

Bad data management

When starting a new project, most of us begin with the best intentions to keep everything neat and organized. However, it doesn’t take long before things can get into a state of disarray. If you’re like me, you probably have computer directories full of data and information files that have long since become cluttered and difficult to wade through. Companies face this same organizational problem, as they have to find a way to sort out the massive amounts of data they produce on a regular basis.

Corporate data that isn’t managed correctly can become a real nightmare. Essential and critical data can be corrupted, undermining security and possibly causing the loss of critical information. As a company grows, so does the mountain of data it creates, which ends up adding to the overall problem. And, as we have seen lately, the amount of data that remote workers are now transmitting also adds to the overhead of data management. 

Fortunately, cloud-based data management tools and systems can take the burden off corporations struggling with data management. Let’s take a look at some of the problems associated with data management and how cloud computing can help.

Data Management Challenges

Prior to the computer age, corporate data was collected, stored, and processed through manual paper documents. As Dr. Wernher Von Braun once said about the development of space flight, “Our two greatest problems are gravity and paperwork. We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.” Thankfully, the paperwork problem was eliminated with the addition of computers into the business world. However, this created a new problem—the ability to electronically store data meant the amount of data increased exponentially

Unfortunately, this problem isn’t going away anytime soon. The fact is that corporations create a lot of data while conducting their business and it is only going to increase. The amount of business data that requires managing also changes depending on the corporation. Engineering departments, for instance, generate a huge amount of technical data that must be carefully stored for repair, traceability, and future product revisions. 

The data management problem is further complicated by corporations that have multiple locations scattered around the world. Consider the following:

  • The amount of data grows with each location.
  • The coordination and management of the data require more effort and resources.
  • Different locations can impose language and format differences that add to the management overhead.

Since the inception of electronic data, its management has been handled by dedicated corporate networks and resources. However, this solution comes with its own problems, including the need for a dedicated staff to install, configure, and maintain the network. Here is where a cloud-based platform for data management can help by eliminating the need for private corporate network resources.

Cloud-based data management graphic

Cloud-based data management eases the burden of companies networking their remote sites together

Cloud-Based Data Management

The networking infrastructure corporations need for their data management is already present in the cloud. Cloud computing and SaaS applications can connect remote users to projects for collecting and processing data. The availability of these applications is a tremendous benefit over the more traditional private networks maintained by corporations for connecting with different locations.

Another benefit of cloud-based data management is the amount of storage available to corporations for their cloud-based data. Sizable corporations, such as global automotive manufacturers, can use cloud-based systems to manage and store data. However, this does open up a new array of challenges, such as how the corporation’s users effectively interact with such a large amount of data and what can be done with it all. Questions like these invite new cloud-based management technologies like artificial intelligence and/or machine learning (AIML) systems to propose processing solutions. With this technology, cloud-based data management can automatically split large pieces of data into usable segments or aggregate those segments into larger pieces for processing. And, in the case of missing data, AIML systems can interpolate new data from existing segments as part of their overall data management process.

Security is another important aspect of data management, and cloud-based data management tools offer the following protections for sensitive data and information:

Control of Critical Work-In-Progress Data and Information Storage

This reduces or eliminates the need for manual file manipulation on the part of users. The data that needs to be saved is now controlled by the data management system based on predefined corporate workflows.

Work-In-Progress Tools Are Part of the Data Management System

Work-in-progress tools give management and other team members the ability to monitor the status projects they are a part of. The data from the workflows are stored in predefined locations based on the workflow to eliminate lost or corrupted data.

Security Controls Are Managed Corporately

With cloud-based data management tools, administrators are able to easily enact protocols to guard against unauthorized access. And, while this level of data management is important to all corporations, it is especially important to engineering companies that need to protect their valuable intellectual property

Next, we’ll look more at the steps original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and engineering firms are taking to protect themselves with cloud-based data management.

Cloud-Based Data Management Tools for Original Equipment Manufacturers

As we have discussed, the amount of data generated and managed by OEMs and engineering corporations will continue to grow to match the complexities of the products they produce. Software design, mechanical engineering, and circuit board layout all produce data that has to be managed. Additionally, many of the larger companies that feature engineering and design have multiple facilities with international locations. Cloud-based data management is becoming increasingly essential for these corporations' success.

Cadence now has a PDM system called Pulse that manages design data and connects different engineering teams with work-in-progress tools hosted through the cloud. And, together with other technology partners like Solidworks and Dassault Systèmes, Cadence is developing its cloud-based platform to provide a full range of tools for effective engineering design. With the cloud platform under development at Cadence, OEMs will soon have the cloud-based data management tools to effectively and securely manage design data.

If you’re looking to learn more about how Cadence has the solution for you, talk to our team of experts.