What Cloud Technology Does For Software in Supply Chain Management
Updated: Oct 16
When planners look for supply chain solutions for the supply chain management needs of their companies, they can't discount the importance of cloud-based systems. Cloud based solutions are those that store data through the internet so that users can access it freely at any time and any place. Since cloud computing is an innovation that has evolved immensely over the last decade, many businesses have not gotten the chance to implement it into all of their operations. Here is why cloud technology is advantageous and can help a company reach its supply chain performance objectives.
Often times, non-cloud based solutions take months to implement within a company's existing software systems. Cloud based solutions on the other hand are implemented within weeks. Typically, solutions that are on a company's premise require specific hardware to be implemented in addition to the software, which is why it can take so long. If a company decides to go with a supply chain solution that is on premise, it can take two or three quarters before they can even begin to improve their supply chain performance.
With cloud-based software, anyone within a company can access its performance data no matter where they are. They will not have to be within a company's premise to do so, but can access data at home. This can not only be useful for employees that are working remotely, but also allow companies to share performance metrics and supply chain KPIs with every member of their supply chain. In other words, it won't just be supply chain specialists that can access the data, but manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers/distributors, retailers can all visualize their performance so that they can take steps to improve.
Does Not Require Maintenance
This is by far the biggest advantage that cloud based solutions have over on-premise solutions. With on-premise solutions, a company assumes full control of the purchased solution and needs to hire a team of supply chain and software professionals to maintain and update it. A larger company may be able to afford this, but even then they cut costs significantly when they use a cloud based solution instead.
Companies may purchase an on-premise solution that not only takes a few months to implement, but becomes obsolete within a few years because of how much the company grows. As a result, they may have to pay a huge amount to either upgrade the solution or purchase a new solution entirely. Cloud-based software avoids these problems as the majority of cloud solutions providers make it very easy for a company to scale its operations as they don't require costly hardware.
Easy to Upgrade
Companies don't just need to upgrade solutions when they increase in size but they will need to upgrade them to be able to adapt to changing technologies. Supply chain software solutions are always being improved upon with more KPIs, metrics and methods of organizing information. With cloud based solutions, a company doesn't even have to upgrade software themselves. Instead, the provider often do so for them. This is very different from non-cloud based solutions which either require you to purchase and install upgraded software packages or require you to change your hardware entirely to be able to adapt to new software upgrades.
Cyberattacks and breaches are a huge issue in supply chain as hackers are targeting non-cloud based supply chain software companies to cause harm to the operations of many medium-large sized businesses. In 2019, the number of supply chain hacks increased by 78 percent from the previous year. Now more than ever, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to protect their supply chain servers through cloud technology. Cloud software is often more secure because providers make the effort to regularly monitor and secure it themselves as opposed to companies that would have to implement security measures on their own with on-premise solutions.
What cloud technology does is it gets rid of the need for physical servers and allows data to be available on demand. It is essential that any given software in supply chain management uses cloud technology to reap its benefits and adapt to the way that modern society is progressing. If the solution that you are currently using or considering doesn't use cloud technology then it might be time to consider a new service.
The Owl uses a category of cloud computing known as SaaS, also known as on-demand software. SaaS applications are able to be easily accessed through web-browsers. Anytime new features are added or upgrades are made, they will be available to all customers as soon as they are released. The Owl's solution consists of important supply chain KPIs for all aspects of supply chain that can be accessed on-demand with on-demand support from experts that have decades of experience in supply chain management. To see how it works, click below to watch a demo or book a quick meeting below to find out how we can help meet your company's needs.