More enterprises than ever before are considering a move to the cloud. In fact, according to RightScale's report from earlier this year, more than 95 percent of enterprises are using the cloud for at least one operation, and 89 percent of them are utilizing public environments. The benefits of moving to cloud-based tools are clear, and organizations have been discovering that advantages like scalability, flexibility and efficiency are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg as far as cloud computing is concerned.
Cloud computing can bring many advantages to an enterprise operation, and for this reason cloud-based supply chain tools are becoming more widely used. Forty-six percent of respondents to a 2015 SCM World survey stated that greater supply chain collaboration allows companies to solve problems twice as fast – and the cloud is the best collaboration tool out there.
What should enterprises consider when they're moving their supply chain operations to a cloud-based environment? Let's take a look:
1. Evaluate your costs
One of the main draws of cloud computing is the fact that it's cost-effective. According to Gartner contributor Laurence Goasduff, while the cloud may increase operational expenditures, it decreases the amount of money that enterprises have to spend up front – in other words, capital expenditures can be cut thanks to the cloud's pay-as-you-use-it characteristics.
2. Have a clear vision in mind
Agile, efficient cloud deployments are only as good as the blueprints they're predicated on – and it's critical to have an effective plan for migrating systems to the cloud. Data has to flow across divisions without being burdened by cumbersome silos, and applications need to be effectively integrated in order for everything to work properly in the long run.
"Businesses need to have a clear destination in mind," said Jon Chorley, Oracle chief sustainability officer and group vice president of supply chain management product strategy, in an interview with Forbes. "[A]nd that vision is what should inform technology decisions."
3. Take your legacy systems into account
The SCM World report stated that supply chain cloud adoption is heavily dependent on the enterprise resource planning systems already in place at any given company. Transportation systems and warehouse management software are examples of programs that might already be in place on your legacy infrastructure, so knowing how to incorporate the cloud without leaving any part of your traditional computing models behind is key to maintaining an efficient supply chain.
4. Don't forget about security
With the cost of a data breach continuing to skyrocket – IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that this number sat at right around $4 million per incident – organizations can no longer afford to shirk security and governance.
"Organizations must shape their governance strategies to rely less on internal security and control, and more on their cloud provider's offerings," wrote TechTarget contributor Nicholas Rando. "Enterprises also should ensure the provider's certifications are up-to-date. Security concerns are a common deterrent for organizations considering cloud migrations, so it's important to plan ahead for potential breaches, failover and disaster recovery."
5. Partner with cloud and supply chain experts
In order to make the most out of your cloud supply chain deployments, it pays to ensure your environment is in the best hands. By investing in cloud-based supply chain management tools and trusting the cloud consultants at Inspirage, you can improve your supply chain and strengthen your computing strategy all in one.
Get in touch with the supply chain experts at Inspirage today for more information about how to connect your systems with the cloud.