Executive Briefings

Supply Chain Professionals Ask, 'Why Not SaaS?'

Analyst Insight: Not too long ago, many supply chain professionals were skeptical of adopting a SaaS delivery model for their solutions. There was a hesitancy to move their solutions off premise, into the cloud and pay a subscription. How times have changed. Supply chain solution providers are all moving to the model or designing native solutions that are cloud-based. - Guy F. Courtin, Vice President & Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Supply Chain Professionals Ask, 'Why Not SaaS?'

Software as a service and cloud-based solutions have become part of the solution lexicon. Companies are looking to solve their business issues, so how those solutions are being delivered is becoming less important than the results they bring. SaaS and cloud have brought lower cost and ease of use to the technology space, but more importantly the new delivery methods have opened up new business models. Companies need to continue to weigh leveraging SaaS options due to cost effectiveness but more importantly what new business models they offer.

Some of the salient points associated with SaaS:

Subscription models means greater flexibility. Being able to pay for solutions on a subscription basis allows for tremendous flexibility. Unlike needing to invest time, effort and treasure to customize and install software solutions behind a firewall, being capable of simply turning on the solution, or adding more instances creates tremendous business flexibility. For example, Accuride, which builds wheel solutions, is able to roll out cloud-based solutions to their factories as they bring them online. They can easily turn on the solution as the situation dictates.

There is room for hybrid solutions. Companies need not completely abandon a hybrid approach either. There will always be room for some on-premise solutions. As data breaches continue to pop up in the news, companies will want to weigh their risk tolerance. The risk of data breaches should not entirely preclude companies from exploring SaaS, but there is also room to balance that possible risk with continuing to look at all solutions. Hybrid offerings – public cloud, private cloud and on-premise – are all viable options. Do not be afraid to explore all these offerings.

Who owns the data? When it comes to cloud and SaaS, the data that fuels these solutions must go outside your firewall. The question becomes, who owns the data? Or where will the data go? Countries such as Germany and China have very peculiar rules when it comes to where the data is residing. This may have an impact on the SaaS solutions you explore, where you host your solutions or which solution vendor you contract with. Data is the fuel for modern day supply chains, make sure you are clear as to where the data is going, who owns it and how you protect it.

The Outlook

SaaS offers supply chains the flexibility necessary to keep pace.

Supply chains are moving at an increased pace, much of this is driven by digital disruption. Players within the supply chain must look at solutions that can keep pace. SaaS and the cloud are vehicles that have opened up not only new delivery methods but new business solutions.

Software as a service and cloud-based solutions have become part of the solution lexicon. Companies are looking to solve their business issues, so how those solutions are being delivered is becoming less important than the results they bring. SaaS and cloud have brought lower cost and ease of use to the technology space, but more importantly the new delivery methods have opened up new business models. Companies need to continue to weigh leveraging SaaS options due to cost effectiveness but more importantly what new business models they offer.

Some of the salient points associated with SaaS:

Subscription models means greater flexibility. Being able to pay for solutions on a subscription basis allows for tremendous flexibility. Unlike needing to invest time, effort and treasure to customize and install software solutions behind a firewall, being capable of simply turning on the solution, or adding more instances creates tremendous business flexibility. For example, Accuride, which builds wheel solutions, is able to roll out cloud-based solutions to their factories as they bring them online. They can easily turn on the solution as the situation dictates.

There is room for hybrid solutions. Companies need not completely abandon a hybrid approach either. There will always be room for some on-premise solutions. As data breaches continue to pop up in the news, companies will want to weigh their risk tolerance. The risk of data breaches should not entirely preclude companies from exploring SaaS, but there is also room to balance that possible risk with continuing to look at all solutions. Hybrid offerings – public cloud, private cloud and on-premise – are all viable options. Do not be afraid to explore all these offerings.

Who owns the data? When it comes to cloud and SaaS, the data that fuels these solutions must go outside your firewall. The question becomes, who owns the data? Or where will the data go? Countries such as Germany and China have very peculiar rules when it comes to where the data is residing. This may have an impact on the SaaS solutions you explore, where you host your solutions or which solution vendor you contract with. Data is the fuel for modern day supply chains, make sure you are clear as to where the data is going, who owns it and how you protect it.

The Outlook

SaaS offers supply chains the flexibility necessary to keep pace.

Supply chains are moving at an increased pace, much of this is driven by digital disruption. Players within the supply chain must look at solutions that can keep pace. SaaS and the cloud are vehicles that have opened up not only new delivery methods but new business solutions.

Supply Chain Professionals Ask, 'Why Not SaaS?'