There are a lot of hyped-up terms floating around the business world, but ‘cloud computing’ deserves the buzz. And due to its flexibility and availability, the concept is quickly catching on in the logistics community. Let’s take a peek into cloud computing and why it is set to take center stage in logistics management.
According to Microsoft, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more – over the Internet (“the cloud”). Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you are billed for water or electricity at home.
It is hard to find a modern company that does not store and access data in the cloud. But cloud computing is not such a revolutionary idea – most of us are already doing it. Have you uploaded photos to Dropbox, watched a movie on Netflix or posted something to Facebook recently? Then you’re already well versed in the cloud computing game.
Cloud computing has attracted interest from logistics service providers. Due to the nature of logistics, where a large number of stakeholders need to interact, the cloud is a capability where “all” can be “connected” without much cost. Essentially, by using a Web browser, anyone can be connected.
The benefits of applying cloud-based SaaS solutions to logistics management are numerous and well documented:
Here is a closer look at some of the main reasons why logistics service providers are moving their supply chain management to the cloud:
Unlike solutions that need to be installed on your computer or hosted on your in-house server, cloud-based SaaS solutions do not require a substantial up-front investment. Instead, they offer companies the ability to pay for only what they use. This minimizes risk and provides faster ROI.
In the digitally transformed logistics regime, where supply chains are increasingly complex and interdependent, streamlined collaboration is a critical factor for sustaining your company. Transactions in the supply chain are occurring across multiple stakeholders and trading parties, typically with a disconnect between data, processes and people. Cloud-based logistics solutions break down these communication silos. Through a relatively simple process, companies can connect in the cloud to collaborate harmoniously. The result is a more predictable supply chain.
Cloud and SaaS solutions connect multiple partners throughout the supply chain. This provides real-time visibility into logistics processes and data, helping you keep operations under control and your clients satisfied.
Cloud-based solutions are here to stay. They help companies achieve better execution, visibility, cost savings, and collaboration with trading partners across the supply chain. What’s more, they break many of the barriers for smaller players to adopt digital practices, since in many cases they come in Pay-As-You-Use low initial investment models.
In essence, cloud-based SaaS solutions enable you to get your clients what they want, when they want it – and spend as little money as possible accomplishing this.