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58 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 I have started to hear people referring to their cloud-systems as "the fog." I sense that the witticism here is hiding a very real experience. In our industrial past, we do have a history of simply venting gases into the atmosphere, so is the same happening in this digital age to our data? Can we just dump data into a cloud and hope that some very clever analytic soft- ware will sort it out for us when we need it? The real answer lies with understanding what the cloud can really offer, what it cannot, and what is needed to build the cloud into an effec- tive strategy for data storage and accessibility. The Search Engine Experience Search engines, such as Google, have really spoiled us over the years, setting our expecta- tion to be able to find something specific from the seemingly unlimited amount of informa- tion out there, by typing just a few words or saying a simple sentence. Trying to imagine the sheer volume of data that these search engines access, which we expect is in some kind of cloud, through which the search engine algo- rithm needs to go through to deliver the result in less than a second, is mind-boggling. The search engine is a great example of a cloud- Accelerating Tech—Insights from the Smart Factory Feature Column by Michael Ford, AEGIS INDUSTRIAL SOFTWARE CORP. Is it a Cloud or is it Fog? The Climate Change of Data

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