IT spending is steadily shifting from traditional IT offerings to cloud services, a trend Gartner defines as Cloud Shift.
The aggregate amount of cloud shift in 2016 was estimated to reach $111 billion worldwide, almost doubling to $216 billion in 2020.
Cloud shift can be seen across all market places with Microsoft estimating that 68% of all Outlook email now being delivered through its cloud Office365 service. This offering has only been available since 2012!
Despite this tremendous shift in how IT providers offer their applications to businesses, some industries still fear their data and business critical applications residing outside of their own facilities.
We consider some great reasons to explore cloud in 2017.
1. Connect & share (EDI)
Cloud warehouse management systems are designed to communicate openly and in real time. Legacy software was designed to be in silos and often only offers basic exports such as .csv files.
Cloud warehouse management and cloud systems can make full use of web API’s for a range of information. If your business demand is impacted by e.g. outside temperature and weather, it is perfectly feasible that a cloud WMS could call a web API service to understand the temperature and plan accordingly. Likewise, the need to offer real time stock information to other systems or partners can happen instantly.
Modern systems and modern businesses need to open up their systems to collaborate with partners, suppliers and clients to really thrive and innovate which is why most major software providers are rewriting their legacy systems to cloud based technology platforms.
2. Much better service
True cloud systems receive updates rather than the dreaded on-premise version upgrade. Updates are pushed out as routine to the central platform so you always benefit from the latest innovation and never fall behind on an unsupported version.
This gives users much better value long term on their investment with far less risk. The little and often upgrade approach is the only way to consider upgrading in 2017 without serious downtime and expense.
always benefit from the latest innovation and never fall behind on an unsupported version.
Having a single platform to maintain allows software providers to focus their efforts, focusing all resource in one place. The result is a much better service and bug free software in the most part. Any issues are picked up very quickly as the entire user base is using the same platform. E.g. Xero boasts 100,000’s of concurrent users.
Cyber security continues to make global headlines with reports of major hacks by foreign powers trying to influence elections which, very understandably, makes people nervous.
The real threat to most businesses is their employees, contractors and ageing infrastructure.
We’ve spoken to clients who have felt that mysterious masked men are just waiting to hack in and cause chaos! I quote, “If [they] get hacked, what chance do we have” from one Operations Director.
The reality is very different. The real threat to most businesses is their employees, contractors and ageing, power hungry hardware infrastructure.
The disaster recover and up-time guaranteed service offered by major cloud providers such as AWS (Amazon web services) and RackSpace are so far superior to all but the most sophisticated of in-house setups. It is just not cost effective for businesses to try and replicate.
4. Cost & payback
Subscribing to a cloud application typically allows businesses to see a much faster return on their investment (ROI).
Software providers have had to think long and hard on how their pricing models work.
Historically, small businesses couldn’t afford great technology. The hardware required to run it alone would often price them out the market. Add the 10-100 days worth of implementation, setup, development and training and only the deep pocketed could warrant the investment.
Welcome cloud systems. Suitable for 1-10 users but still suitable for 100’s or 1000’s of users – all controlled through configurable options which can be turned on and off as needed.
Add to that low cost hardware, often running Google’s Android operating system and suddenly the little fish can bite back!
A common concern when migrating to a cloud system is “my internet is slow”. Very very slow internet speeds can effect system performance but for the majority of businesses, this just isn’t an issue as modern web platforms are optimised for lightening quick performance. How often do you sit waiting for your old system to chug through data when running reports or spend fixing corrupted data? Compare that to the internet dropping for a few seconds (or even minutes!) and its still a big win.
In 95% of cases, a modern web platform will perform significantly better
For example, ClarusWMS will run perfectly over a mobile 3G connection which is how we often demonstrate to our potential clients. Our task queuing system also allows the user to carry on working while the big the data processing jobs carry on in the background. No more dreaded egg timer and system freezing!
In 95% of cases, a modern web platform will perform significantly better than a legacy solution designed 10-15 years ago….. many of which are still being actively sold!
6. Commercial flexibility
True cloud systems allow for much greater commercial flexibility. In economically uncertain times, a lot of weight should be given to this factor.
This tends to include pay on demand pricing which can be influenced by seasonal peaks allowing costs to match system demand.
This will also often include short term contracts (or no contract!) so if you do find that business requirements change, you can switch to a new provider with minimum financial impact.
As there is no investment needed in server hardware with a cloud system, moving premises, expanding or downsizing can all be done very easily allowing owners to react to changing conditions very quickly which could be the difference between continuing in business or not!
Speak to one of our team to understand how ClarusWMS’ simple cloud subscription platform can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service, better results and efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution and manufacturing.