Not many supply chains globally use cloud-based software to enhance their decision making and actionable input. To put simply, ‘the cloud’ is comprised of a number of services and software operations operating on the internet, instead of on-premise computers or servers. Cloud adoption is a growing strategy across a number of global industries to enhance the scalability of internet-based database capabilities while reducing the costs and risks that come with holding data on your physical systems.
Supply chains can achieve cloud adoption in its truest form by engaging in the practice of using remote cloud servers on the Internet to store, process and manage critical data on a real-time basis. Hybrid cloud computing is a recent innovation in the world of cloud and is the go-to option for supply chain providers.
As cloud adoption and the benefits that it offers grow, global supply chain players are coming out in numbers to implement the change and incorporate it within their culture. In this article, we take a look at how cloud adoption can help businesses in the supply chain. Cloud adoption is the future and holds the potential to take businesses forward and give them the platform to excel in day-to-day operations.
A good supply chain can progress forward with cloud adoption and reach new heights with the efficiency that it offers. Data sits at the core of a supply chain today and can be drastically increased through the use of the right metrics.
Benefits of Cloud Adoption
Companies that fail to move and adjust to cloud computing will soon see their efficiency and responsiveness fall. Cloud computing is in fact on the radar for most supply chain executives today and, sooner or later, will give you the competitive advantage you’re looking for.
Some of the benefits of cloud adoption include:
- Cost Effective: The cloud really is cost effective. By adopting cloud computing, organizations can limit administrative expenses of monitoring data from the supply chain. When we talk about the data revolution and the extraction of sense from data generated across the supply chain, we’re possibly talking of thousands of terabytes of data generated on a daily or periodical basis. The alternative to cloud computing is the introduction of an on-site data center, which besides the initial costs, requires consistent cooling and heating. You can use the money you save into adding efficiency to your supply chain and improving key processes.
- On Demand Access: Cloud adoption can provide you with on-demand access to your data and resources whenever and wherever you want. Resources placed on the cloud can easily be stored, recovered, retrieved or processed within just a couple of clicks. Users of cloud can now access data on the cloud on the go through any device of their choice, from any corner of the world, as long as they have a valid connection to the internet.
- A Wide Array of Applications: Cloud computing offers a number of applications that come under the following three services:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Adaptability: Cloud computing offers supply chains the kind of adaptability they are looking for. A cloud computing service can adapt to almost any change in patterns and deliver consistent results. An organization can track and store data from all stakeholders involved in the supply chain process to achieve the results they require.
How Does Cloud Adoption Work?
Supply chain executives can lead their transition to the cloud with an eye on the following critical steps:
- Assessment: All IT decision makers and executives need to assess the challenges and opportunities of moving to the cloud. In addition to taking notes and inspiration from popular vendors/business leaders, organizations should consider the financial challenges of the process. A move to the cloud should only be contemplated after a full understanding of these challenges and the way they impact productivity.
- Planning: Once organizations perform their research and run their assessment, they have to move toward the more complex task of employing a cloud computing strategy in their market. This is where an organization should decide between public, private and hybrid clouds.
- Adoption: The adoption phase is the trickiest of the lot and deals with risk mitigation and performance enhancement strategies. Managers should develop an enhanced understanding of their data stores, servers and software for future scalability and reiteration of the strategy.
- Optimization: IT departments should meet regularly with executive teams to form and sustain a long-term strategy. The new and improved solutions created here can go a long way in optimizing performance.
Influencing Decision Making with Data
Data has long been an inaccessible commodity for silos inside a supply chain. Without intentional negligence of their own, businesses can often end up creating silos between partners, suppliers, vendors and other entities throughout the value chain. Breaking down these silos and using data as a tool to connect and make decisions can help organizations move forward and extend the capabilities of their supply chain.
Technologies like automated data collection and asset tracking provide business leaders with unprecedented visibility into both business processes and the assets used for performing them. The data gathered across these processes can be shared across the board for mutual benefit.
One of the greatest benefits expected as a result of the data revolution of today is greater visibility. Most businesses are unable to recognize problems and let them slip away without taking any concrete measures to stop the damage before it is too late. Greater visibility will also enable organizations to respond in a better way to increased demand and achieve more profitable and leaner operations through the creation of enough goods.
Silos are unhealthy for the growth and development of a business, which is why there is an inherent drive for global supply chain players to utilize data as a means to break the ice and connect departments together.
Agility and Flexibility
Organizations today have to choose between the ideal outcomes of efficiency and responsiveness. An agile supply chain presence allows businesses to get the best of both worlds and enjoy enhanced responsiveness without losing out on efficiency. In fact, the digital supply chain is a reality today because of the growing agility and flexibility shown by organizations in day-to-day operations – flexibility that they didn’t show a few years back.
Global supply chain players today have to meet expectations and demands across multiple channels. This constant struggle leads to the creation of an Omni-channel commerce model, which can further increase the complexity of a supply chain.
The customer centric environment of today requires businesses to be at their very best when it comes to supply chain readiness. Companies need to tap into technology to run simulations and models that not only prepare organizations for what is to come their way but also help them adapt to the digital revolution.
Revamping Business Processes
One of the primary pain points for executives in the supply chain industry today is the growing trend of new-comers relying on technology for success. New entrants in the market aren’t afraid of trying out different technologies and realms to further their cause.
Hence, businesses are motivated to revamping major business processes for better competitive advantage and to retain their efficiency. Since new entrants come with models and innovations that can disrupt the entire industry and destroy the competitive advantage of old players, established supply chain retailers have to rethink their processes and their business strategy to devise plans accordingly. This is hence a major driver toward the digital revolution for supply chain executives today.
The digital disruption is all around us. The ubiquitous impact of this digital disruption can be felt across every vertical and industry around the globe. The move toward digitization is no longer just a trend specifically impacting the B2B industry or B2C sector for that matter.
Conclusion to Accelerate your Supply Chain with the Cloud
With the global supply chain industry on the cusp of advancing toward a number of disrupting trends, major players will have to replace traditional strategies and techniques with the ease and efficiency of digital transformation.
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