May 2016 | Commentary | Checking In

A Head in the Cloud?

Tags: Cloud Computing, Logistics, Technology , Supply Chain

Keith Biondo is the publisher of Inbound Logistics magazine.

Are old-school logistics, transportation, and trade technology solutions about to get their SaaS's kicked? It seems so, based on recent reports. The migration to web, cloud, and SaaS solutions continues, as 50 percent of all providers responding to our April 2016 Logistics IT Market Perspectives study deliver their solutions these ways. It wasn't long ago when locally hosted solutions were all the rage. Nearly half of all respondents offer both locally hosted and web-hosted solutions, depending on customer needs. So, what's left? A mere 3 percent of IT providers say they only deliver solutions locally. That means 97 percent of providers either offer, or have the capability to offer, SaaS solutions if customers require it.

Recent reports from IDC and Forrester Research mirror IL's findings. Here's how they document the growing move to cloud in the global business community:

  • Legacy vendors face a bleak future. By 2020, the market may be unrecognizable as IDC and Forrester predict that more than 30 percent of current IT vendors "will not exist as we know them today."
  • Cloud providers will be winnowed down. Monsters such as Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Google, and Dell OEM IoT will gobble up a larger share of the growing cloud solutions market, pushing smaller (just about everyone else) vendors out. As a side note, Microsoft quietly surpassed $1 trillion in revenue in Q1 2016—driven, in part, by clouding up many popular Microsoft apps. The counterbalance to this trend? Specialty areas such as supply chain management and related IT solutions will fly under the radar of the Big Boys for a while.
  • Big data is not as big as it is going to get. Today, only 1 percent of all apps use cognitive services to analyze terabytes of big data on the fly, say the research firms. By 2018, however, 50 percent of all apps will do so.
  • You are what you need. By the end of 2017, digital transformation will be at the center of corporate strategy for two-thirds of the Global 2000 enterprises, turning large companies into software firms.

Revenue and investment in cloud infrastructure are exploding too, according to Synergy Research. Take a look at cloud infrastructure revenue in 2015 vs. 2014: Amazon +63 percent, Microsoft +124 percent, IBM +57 percent, Google +108 percent. Other companies show similar growth, and this is just the beginning.

What does this mean to you? An exciting future of improved supply chain control, and lower-cost and more powerful solutions as big data is truly applied to enterprise efficiency. Most importantly, you can choose from an array of new, robust enterprise change agents—from the lowest transactional levels to the highest strategic levels. You will love getting ahead in the cloud.






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