Cloud technology was hailed the hot topic of 2012 and the industry is poised to enjoy further interest over the next few years. According to BITKOM, the cloud industry will be worth €13 billion by 2015: more than three times today´s value. As a result, cloud based applications are becoming increasingly available, but are organizations still lost in a fog of uncertainty?
In October 2012, following my blog article looking into cloud adoption in the UK, we invited logistics experts to take part in a survey to demystify the use of the cloud for logistics tasks. The survey explored industry perceptions of the technology, with some interesting results.
Given the vast array of cloud based applications now available, it comes as little surprise that the vast majority, 68.3% to be precise, can envisage using the technology for logistics tasks sometime in the future. However surprisingly, only 12.7% of organizations have ventured into the technology and actually implemented Cloud into their operations. In the face of new and exciting technology, logistics specialists still seem overcast with doubt.
It seems there is great a perception of risk when it comes to cloud computing, potentially fueled by the fact that the technology is not fully understood. Our research indicated that almost half of all respondents said their greatest concerns were over safety, while a further 29.5% of participants highlighted concerns over a lack of familiarity with the technology
These concerns however, seem difficult to justify when you consider the lengths cloud service providers go to ensure data security. Cloud based tools are typically subject to periodic hacker attack simulations in order to identify and eliminate potential vulnerabilities, not to mention the very specific security protocols also in place. To match such security standards would be a great effort for most businesses, if not beyond their capabilities.
The benefits of cloud stretch beyond data safety. For example, 25% of participants also noted that cloud technology could help reduce operational costs. Moreover, a further 38.3% highlighted clouds capability to support flexible worldwide accessibility.
In an era of globalized markets, businesses of all sizes are increasingly demanding intelligent solutions to connect all of their international operations and drive competiveness. Cloud technology enables centralized planning that has the capability to connect every site across the world. This enables everyone across the supply chain to participate, regardless of time or place.
Whilst at present some still hold reservations over cloud computing, the technology undoubtedly holds the key to some potentially huge strategic advances. I strongly believe that Cloud is not just a trend, but a pioneering technology that will streamline processes and contribute to business financial success for years to come. Businesses should find ways to adopt cloud computing today, so they too can enjoy the benefits.