Supply Chain Software In The Cloud

Cloud-based software applications (also referred to as “software-as-a-service”) have been available for many years, although their adoption has varied by company and application type, especially in the supply chain realm. How receptive is your company to using cloud-based supply chain software?

We asked members of our Indago supply chain research community — who are all supply chain and logistics executives from manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies — that question in a September 2023 survey. 

Almost three quarters of our member respondents (73%) said that their companies were either “Extremely Receptive” (32%) or “Very Receptive” (41%) to using cloud-based software to manage their supply chain operations.

Source: Indago, September 2023 survey (n=22)

“Cloud-based systems used to be a risk factor, but the overall reliability of the systems has changed this perspective over time,” said one Indago executive member. “Improved accessibility and reduced IT support for on-site operations have made a strong push towards cloud-based systems.”

Another executive commented, “We are moving most [systems] off premises and moving them to the cloud. We have freed up our server room and have found that the expense of maintaining cloud services is significantly cheaper than having systems on site.”

We also asked our members, “Which applications have you deployed on premise vs. in the cloud?”

Transportation Management Systems received the highest percentage of cloud deployments (50%) and the lowest percentage of on-premise deployments (14%). On the flip side, ERP received the highest percentage of on-premise deployments (68%), while Manufacturing Execution Systems (9%) and Global Trade Management (5%) received the lowest percentage of cloud deployments.

Source: Indago, September 2023 survey (n=22)

“My company has new management in IT and we are moving toward more cloud-based applications,” said one Indago executive member. “We started with TMS, but we are currently moving to SAP for ERP and WMS and they will be cloud-based. Benefits include regular software updates and no capital spend and ongoing maintenance for servers and other hardware.”

For additional insights from the research, Indago members can download the report from our website.

What about you? Does your IT organization support using cloud-based solutions in supply chain management? What are the biggest pros and cons of using cloud-based solutions? Post a comment and share your perspective!

Be Uncommon. Research with Purpose.

If you’re a supply chain or logistics practitioner from a manufacturing, retail, or distribution company — and you’re interested in learning from your peers — I encourage you to learn more about Indago and join our research community. It is confidential, there is no cost to join and the time commitment is minimal (2-4 minutes per week) — plus your participation will help support charitable causes like JDRF, American Logistics Aid Network, American Cancer Society, Feeding America, and Make-A-Wish.