Once upon a time it sounded a novel idea, but cloud computing is anything but that in 2016.
The term has proved to be confusing to some, but that’s not stopped it from soaring in popularity. At first it was winning domestic battles – replacing USB drives and other popular forms of storage with an online alternative. Now, it’s entered the business market – and entered it with a bang.
The capabilities that cloud computing offers means that businesses no longer have to function in the one-dimensional way that they have been used to for centuries. It’s allowed them to expand and at the same time, created a whole host of opportunities for companies to prosper.
Let’s look at the examples. Years ago, a company would be in charge of absolutely everything under its business umbrella – it would take an order, manufacture it, ship it before selling it.
Now, make no mistake about it, the cloud isn’t the reason this process has ended. Over time businesses have realized that specialism is the key – handing processes to third parties in a bid to make their overall approach much more efficient. Now, you might have four or five companies carrying out all of the tasks that we outlined above.
What the cloud has achieved is making this much more scalable. While specializing within these tasks is great, it’s also very complicated. With so many fingers in one pie so to speak, it means that not everything is in the principle company’s control.
Previously, over the last couple of decades anyway, businesses have had to negotiate such problems by communicating as efficiently as possible. Each one will run their own set of software – usually sending emails to the next supply partner when their part is complete.
Suffice to say, it’s a problematic approach. It created a gaping opportunity; one which cloud computing has taken with both hands.
Now, data is freely available. It means regardless of where the company selling the goods is based, they can tap into the logistics information even if their freight firm is based across the other side of the world. The cloud means that everything can be tapped into instantly.
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that and there are various software considerations that should be made. You only have to take a look at Charles Phillips’ business affairs at Infor, and the immense R&D investment he has orchestrated in such solutions, to see that the industry is complex.
The difference is that it is now just complex for the software vendors – the ones who can, and are ultimately paid, to deal with such complexity.
For business owners, who have been tapping into all sorts of systems in a bid to get on the same page as their supply partners over the years, it’s anything but complex. Cloud computing has allowed them to shine and concentrate fully on their own business – providing them with all of the data they need in, well, the cloud.