Cloud technology, now within reach, helps supply chains scale – Supply Chain Dive

Lower costs, improved products and increased comfort with sharing data is contributing to a rise in cloud applications.

Sean Gallup via Getty Images

Editor’s note: This article is the latest in a series that looks into the ways supply chains, warehouses and manufacturing facilities are investing in technology. Here’s the previous story.

Cloud is still a buzzword, and for good reason: It’s changing the way all businesses, but especially supply chain, work.

In “Innovation Driven Resilience,” the 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report, MHI and Deloitte surveyed more than 1,000 supply chain professionals worldwide about innovation investments in the supply chain. They found that 54% of companies surveyed are increasing or substantially increasing their investment in cloud computing and storage to make supply chain more resilient.

The authors of the report also found that companies that were already on cloud supply chain platforms before the start of the pandemic were “able to establish new channels to meet customer needs and to quickly scale up to satisfy exponential growth in e-commerce demand.”

Most companies are spending less than $10M on cloud

% of respondents who said their company was investing the following amounts of money on cloud computing and storage

He likens it to how drivers went from using paper maps and AAA TripTiks to apps like Google Maps and Waze. They all get drivers from point A to point B, but apps are constantly using new information about things like accidents, construction and weather to tell drivers which way to go to save time, and frustration.

“We are really comfortable with real time information that they’re able to ingest to make a real time decision,” he said. “That’s the kind of transformation that supply chain is going through.”

Cloud grows up

Like with most technologies, cheaper prices and better products have put cloud and cloud storage within reach.

“It used to be that if you wanted any kind of cloud computing or storage, you’d have to self-host them,” said Rob Wood, practice vice president of hardware and embedded security services at NCC Group. “You had to have entire teams maintain those systems. Cloud has made them unnecessary. Instead of having to build my own servers and stand them up and run them, you can go outsource that.”

The storage part of cloud has also matured: Amazon Web Services turns 20 next year. …….


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