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Gartner identifies widespread cloud adoption in the supply chain sector

Cloud applications may significantly improve supply chain management.

Cloud proliferation has occurred in nearly every industry as even highly regulated organizations find ways of securing their deployments. As Logistics Management contributing editor Bridget McCrea recently noted, the market for public cloud services is expected to reach $206.6. While there are many services contributing to this momentum, the widespread adoption of outsourced applications has allowed many businesses to cut capital expense and better optimize their IT infrastructures.

Gartner Research Vice President Dwight Klappich noted that one of the industries significantly pushing the cloud’s growth is supply chain management. The sector’s adoption of cloud storage and other outsourced services grew 40 percent from 2011 to 2012 and Klappich expects momentum to continue growing in the next several years. According to McCrea, collaborative procurement, global trade management and transportation management systems are the most widely used cloud technologies in the sector.

Cloud-based supply chain management software can facilitate several business benefits. As Esther Lutz, vice president of business development at TradeCard Europe, recently noted in a Supply Chain Digital article, cloud technology reduces risk in the supply chain due to greater visibility over the companies and processes involved.

“Keeping all parties synchronized at all times has always been a hassle. A typical sourcing transaction involves five to 15 different parties – in different countries, languages and time zones,” Lutz wrote. “Traditional methods of communicating are slow and inefficient. Cloud technology enables a collaborative model for the supply chain to enable all parties to communicate and transact in real time. With the right strategy, technology and support, the cloud can be a strategic differentiator in your supply chain.”