Cloud-based technology offers end users in the manufacturing and processing industries a plethora of benefits. Perhaps most importantly, it enables a “single source of truth” for large datasets gathered from disparate systems and facilities. By synchronizing this data, cloud platforms can enable end-to-end planning and visibility that would be difficult or impossible if local, on-premises servers were used instead. Moreover, because cloud platforms ingest large quantities of data from many locations and companies, they can be used to train powerful machine learning applications that individual operations would not have the capacity to develop on their own. Currently, three large platforms hold 80% of the global cloud market: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. However, not all cloud platforms are created equal. While they offer similar baseline functionality, the platforms have carved out strategic niches for themselves, which render them better suited to some industries and use cases than others. IoT Analytics, an Internet of Things market research firm, has broken down the features of each of the major cloud platforms and provided commentary on their strengths and weaknesses. The service offerings of each cloud provider in this analysis focus on three categories relevant to industrial companies.
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