Businesses around the world have increasingly moved their
enterprise applications, platforms and infrastructure to the cloud.
In the latest QAD Precision Report we look at the benefits of moving
to the cloud, and the advantages of leveraging cloud-based
processing for global trade, transportation and logistics operations.
Blockchain, the Internet of Things, machine learning and data lakes…
These are the technologies that have garnered the most headlines in
recent years. But the headlines don’t reflect the fact that many
enterprises are not rushing to be early adopters. This is
understandable. Change simply for the sake of change is disruptive.
More importantly, technological innovations must first prove to be
worthwhile in terms of both ROI and improved operational processes.
Cloud computing is one innovation that has proven its value. Although
the cloud has been with us almost two decades, widespread migration
has been slow. That has changed — and is continuing to change.
In the last five years or so, businesses around the world have
increasingly moved their enterprise applications, platforms and
infrastructure to the cloud. The change to cloud-based processing is
not simply to keep up with technology — there are tangible benefits
too. Let’s take a brief look at these.
The first most important benefit is revenue and profit growth. IBM
looked at over 800 IT leader surveys across 24 industries in 13
countries. Despite the different challenges posed by their varying
industries and economies, strategic cloud adopters had one important
thing in common: growth. These companies exhibited twice the revenue
growth and achieved 2.5 times the profit growth of companies working
in traditional IT environments.
One of the major reasons cloud solutions offer such great opportunity
for revenue and profit growth is scalability. That’s also the biggest
advantage of the cloud, and the one that drove its development.
A cloud-based system offers dynamic allocation of resources. In other
words, if you need more processing power, storage, memory and so
forth, the cloud allocates it.
Another great advantage is that cloud deployment is faster. Instead
of upgrading individual users or groups one at a time, cloud
deployment and updates happen at a centralized application or platform level.
Would you rather have your IT staff working on improving your
business performance and developing strategic advancements or on
routine IT maintenance? The answer is obvious. With the cloud, your
service provider looks after that. Better still, they’ll often resolve
issues long before you even encounter them.
In addition, your provider is responsible for hardware maintenance
and upgrades too. As a result, when infrastructure is eventually
updated, it’s invisible to your IT organization and your finance department.
If you use a cloud solution built on virtualized hardware resources
that are geographically and systematically independent, you have a
built-in disaster recovery plan. In the event of a disaster, all you
need to do is find an alternative access to your cloud solution.
Replacing or upgrading your systems is a huge capital expense.
However, a subscription or recurring licensing fee is a predictable
operational expense. This means you know exactly how much your IT
needs will cost, which in turn, helps you to manage your cash flow.
We have had a look at the general benefits of the cloud, but there
are also specific advantages for global trade, transportation and
logistics. Let’s have a look at these.
The major advantage to using the cloud means you have ongoing and
real time updates with trade compliance regulations. This is vital. A
cloud-based shipping logistics platform is also a matter of risk
management, and one that helps you avoid costly penalties.
Lee Specialties Ltd. of Red Deer, Canada is a cautionary tale. The
company was fined $90,000 for inadvertently shipping $15 in Viton®
o-rings to a country for which export of such products was prohibited.
Penalties up to 6,000 times the value of shipped goods might be an
extreme, increasing compliance enforcement is a reality for shippers.
For large shippers with multiple distribution centers and warehouses
platform rollouts are time-consuming and complicated. With a cloud
deployment, however, all your facilities and teams receive features
and updates simultaneously. That means no communications downtime
between facilities and no intricate planning.
With a cloud based solution, changing to meet adapting business needs
is quick and easy. Adding new applications, scaling back capacity or
even adding or subtracting users is quick and easy.
Cloud deployments for logistics solutions create a competitive
advantage. If you always have the newest application features and
up-to-date data, you have an edge over competitors in terms of
delivery, customer service, and cost savings.
If you use a cloud-based solution, you no longer need a team of
in-house software experts to make your systems work. If you have a
small team, or indeed an individual expert, who knows and understands
your home grown systems, there’s an ever-present risk to your business.
Last but not least is return on investment. Because deployment of
cloud architecture is much faster than on-premise, ROI is realized
much quicker — in some cases in as little as 10-12 weeks.
Cloud services provide growth-minded organizations with the ability
to move capital expenses to operational expenses, while requiring less
maintenance and automatic upgrades. Customers moving to cloud
technology eliminate the need for IT and hardware resources while
moving their information to a secure, private cloud environment. Our
integrated cloud service provides your organization with the newest
application features, propelling you forward past your competitors and
giving your logistics solutions a competitive advantage.
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