The Challenges of a Cloud-Based WMS: An In-depth Analysis

Warehouse management systems (WMS) are the secret to a thriving logistics operation. They smooth out the wrinkles in your processes, cut down on slip-ups, and boost your efficiency. Lately, though, cloud-based WMS solutions have been stealing the spotlight thanks to their groovy scalability and budget-friendly nature. But hold up – they’re not all rainbows and sunshine. We’re going to dive into the not-so-awesome side of cloud-based WMS.

Cloud-Based WMS graphic

What’s the Buzz on Cloud-Based WMS?

A cloud-based WMS is a software solution that lives on the internet, meaning you can access it anywhere with a connection. It’s the ultimate web-based solution for keeping your warehouse operations in check from one central spot without any fancy hardware or software on-site.

Some vendors use “cloud” as a stand-in for “not hosted by the customer.” But the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a specific definition of cloud computing that highlights rapid elasticity. Simply put, if a solution slows to a crawl under heavy load, maxing out the hardware’s resources, it’s not a cloud solution. It’s more of a retro-hosted service.

The Benefits of Cloud-Based WMS

Before diving into cloud-based WMS’s downsides, let’s cover the good stuff. These solutions come with a bunch of advantages, like:


Cloud-based WMS solutions can grow with your business. Add or remove features as needed without pouring cash into hardware or software.


No need for expensive hardware and software – cloud-based WMS solutions are lighter on your wallet. Plus, you only pay for what you use.


Manage your warehouse operations from Timbuktu if you want – cloud-based WMS solutions are accessible anywhere with an internet connection.

Automatic Updates

Service providers handle updates, so you don’t have to worry about updating the system manually.

The Bad Side of Cloud-Based WMS

Cloud-based WMS solutions have some drawbacks too, like:

Security Risks

You need a stable internet connection, or you’re out of luck. Sluggish or glitchy connections can slow down warehouse operations and mess with productivity.

Limited Customisability

Cloud-based WMS solutions are standardised, which isn’t great if your business needs unique features.

Lack of Control

The service provider calls the shots, so you might not have as much control over the system as you’d like. This could lead to slower problem-solving and difficulty catering to your specific needs.

Integration Hurdles

Integrating cloud-based WMS solutions with other business systems can be a real pain. This might cause delays in data sharing and communication between different systems.

Choosing Cloud-Native WMS Instead

If you’re looking for a WMS built for the modern world, look no further than a cloud-native WMS. Unlike cloud-based WMS, which takes traditional on-premise WMS solutions and moves them to the cloud, cloud-native WMS is explicitly designed for the cloud environment. This difference brings a whole host of benefits, as we’ll explore below:

Seamless Integration with Other Cloud Systems

One of the most significant advantages of a cloud-native WMS is its ability to integrate flawlessly with other cloud systems, like cloud-based ERPs, CRMs, and e-commerce platforms. This compatibility means smoother data transfer and communication between systems, minimising the chances of errors and delays.

Customisation Galore

Cloud-native WMS solutions provide more customisation options than their cloud-based counterparts. They’re built to be incredibly adaptable so businesses can tailor the system to their unique needs and requirements.

Scalability for Growing Businesses

If your business is expanding, a cloud-native WMS is a perfect choice. These solutions can effortlessly manage increased workloads and be scaled up or down as needed.

Reliability You Can Count On

A cloud-native WMS is built to be super reliable and resilient. The system ensures smooth operation with built-in redundancy and failover mechanisms, even if something goes wrong.

Boosted Performance

Thanks to the cloud’s inherent scalability and processing power, cloud-native WMS solutions deliver improved performance over cloud-based WMS solutions. This means faster, more efficient warehouse operations for your business.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Opting for a cloud-native WMS means a lower total ownership cost than cloud-based WMS solutions. With no need for expensive hardware and software, businesses only pay for what they use. Plus, with fewer IT resources required for management, overall costs are reduced.

Security Like Never Before

Cloud-native WMS provides security features that make it a reliable choice for businesses. With its smooth migration to new servers and swift recovery from system failures or security breaches, you can enjoy minimal downtime and uninterrupted operations.

The Bottom Line

While cloud-based WMS solutions offer benefits like scalability, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility, they also come with downsides, such as reliance on internet connectivity, security risks, limited customisability, lack of control, integration challenges, and vendor lock-in. Businesses should carefully weigh these factors before choosing a cloud-based WMS solution.

Enter Clarus WMS, the ultimate representation of true cloud technology. Unlike cloud-based solutions, Clarus is built from scratch within the cloud, giving it a unique edge. This distinction has numerous advantages, including effortless scalability, enhanced reliability, and top-notch performance. Cloud-native applications like Clarus are designed to harness the full potential of cloud computing, using microservices architecture and containerisation for efficient resource allocation and speedy deployment. As a result, Clarus gives organisations more flexibility in adapting to ever-changing business demands, reduces operational costs, and accelerates innovation, allowing them to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced digital world. Want to learn more? Book a demo today!

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