One of my colleagues at Tulip recently had a conversation with a manufacturing IT leader at a Fortune 500 organization that put the changing landscape of application governance in a new light. 

They were discussing whether or not this organization needed an application platform, given that they had an extremely well-staffed and high-performing team of developers within manufacturing IT. When it came to resources, it didn’t make sense to buy a product when they could write a solution themselves. 

Still, resourcing and capacity weren’t the most important factors in this leader’s mind. He summed up his hesitations about home-grown applications in a single point: “I can’t in good faith stand in front of the board and tell them that there are zero security issues in the hundreds of applications currently in production.” 

For IT leaders with the capacity to design and implement software solutions in house, the move to an application platform isn’t just about process efficiency or improving manufacturing KPIs. It’s about simplifying governance at the enterprise level. 

In this post, we’ll show you how Tulip simplifies IT governance at enterprise scale. 

Five Ways Tulip Simplifies Manufacturing Application Governance

1. Centralized management through a platform

Custom applications come with inherent management challenges. If they’re written by your internal team, those teams may find themselves occupied with long development cycles. They may frequently need to gather new requirements if the initial solution doesn’t meet production needs. If vendors or consultants are building applications, you’re at the mercy of their teams. Across your stack of production applications, cost can balloon quickly.

With Tulip, IT manages a platform, not individual applications. This makes it possible to ensure security, compliance, and best practices are followed across every production line in every site. And because engineers build applications themselves, you can

2. Global application standards

One concern we hear frequently from manufacturing IT leaders is a fear that applications will run wild. Individual apps will grow and grow until they’re too unwieldy to manage. Or each team, department, or site will follow different standards. This lack of harmonization makes it impossible to compare performance between sites, and creates inefficiencies as groups try to reinvent the wheel.

Tulip makes it possible for IT to develop and enforce global application standards. IT can write and distribute best practices, create templates that serve as the foundation for all applications, and serve as a final approver for all production apps.

3. Version control

Keeping each version of a process current is a challenge with paper, and it’s equally challenging when it comes to manufacturing software.
In-application version control makes it simple for IT to guarantee that all groups are working with the same information.

Version control makes managing enterprise applications easier
Manage versions and see updates in a single location


4. Roles and permissions

Managing software is as much about managing end-user access as it is functionality. In manufacturing, it’s essential that only approved users have access to specific information and work spaces. This is especially true in GxP and regulated environments.

Tulip simplifies this by letting IT strictly control roles and permissions for the platform. Control who can run apps in the player, who can author them, and who as access to the data. You can set global standards to help reduce the administrative load that comes with managing individual applications.

By setting permission for each user, you keep apps and data secure and ensure that no unapproved changes  will make it to production

By setting permission for each user, you keep apps and data secure and ensure that no unapproved changes  will make it to production

5. Centralized application bank

Application platforms beat traditional systems because no code dramatically accelerates development cycles. With premade application libraries, IT can help production teams move even faster.

With Tulip, IT can create a centralized application library that each site can start from. Why build similar work instructions twice when you can configure a template? Why reinvent the wheel if both sites have similar quality processes?

Conclusions

When it comes to whether or not to use an application platform, there are a few concerns. Rapid delivery, democratizing development, and business value are all key.

But it’s just as important to consider how a platform can simplify routine application management.