Is Cloud Computing Right for your Transportation Business?
Posted by Debra Carbone
Cloud computing has become popular for many transportation and logistics firms due to its affordability with reduced upfront investments and faster implementation. But is it right for your company?
First let’s recognize that there are two forms of solutions that are “in the cloud”. One is SaaS, or Software as a Service, which means that you have access to the software through a subscription and it is hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available over a network, usually the Internet. Cloud computing means that you own the software, but it is also hosted on an off-premise server.
So how do you know if cloud computing is right for your transportation and logistics business? Let’s take a look at what you gain from having your software hosted in the cloud. When you go with a hosted service you have 24/7 accessibility and you remove the need for server maintenance, software installation and maintenance as well as having to reconfigure your IT infrastructure. You also have an up to date and optimized solution which can help you keep current with industry changes.
What you give up is a bit of control. You no longer determine the security of your data, but that might not be a bad thing. Reputable cloud-based providers have done a lot of work to ensure your data is very secure often surpassing anything available on-site.
Although most transportation systems are available in the cloud, many enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are too big in size or scope to have a true cloud-based offering. Something else to consider is if a vendor’s approach to the cloud is a traditional multi-tenant, where you share a database, or if you will have your own individual database for the greatest portability and security.
Cloud deployment provides many advantages, but determining if it is right for your business should first start with what your strategy is and if a cloud based model can help you accomplish your desired outcomes. Then you should select a proven transportation solution that can effectively meet your business needs now and into the future.