It is common to talk about the innovation fueled by cloud in verticals such as banking, retail, healthcare, etc. There have been volumes written on the advantages of cloud around storage, email, archiving, collaboration and unified communications. But what about supply chain technologies being transformed by cloud?
Research from Gartner reveals supply chain decision makers are jumping on the cloud bandwagon, with an estimated 40% increase in deployments in 2012 over 2011. In fact, the firm projects that about half of the transportation elements of supply chain are now powered by cloud. Why is this good news for solution providers?
For one thing, it is rare to ask an IT provider about its customer focus and not have “manufacturing” on the list somewhere. Food and beverage is another common customer cross section. With experience handling the needs of those warehouses and distribution chains, imagine where you could bring cloud into the equation and better serve your customers? RFID tags with data easily read and transmitted wirelessly into cloud-based data bases that can monitored from any desk in the company – at the same site or elsewhere – provide real-time analysis. Trucks tagged with GPS can be seen instantly – again, from anywhere through Web-based software solutions. Need to check on a deliver? Click – there you go.
We don’t hear a lot of buzz around this potential just yet, but if you’re an IT provider with a solid customer base that would see value in the real-time data collection and collaboration made possible with cloud, start thinking about how and where to start that conversation with your customers. I think you’ll find them more than open to your ideas.