Enterprise Software in the Cloud!
Continuously increasing complexity and globalization is impacting many sectors like Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Logistics, Healthcare and many others and demanding more attention and better management to keep costs down, bring more product variants, be complaint with local regulations and always build high quality products.
Being in consulting industry for more than 15 years my answer to above challenge is simple "Embrace Enterprise IT solutions". I personally was involved in implementing, integrating and migrating to Enterprise solutions like ERP, CRM, PLM and SCM and many more solutions to streamline the process, eliminate process gaps to build right products and always be first to market.
You may believe it or not, these solutions do great wonders when successfully implemented and used religiously. But to implement these BIG TICKET solutions organizations need deep pockets and only BIG Companies can afford existing enterprise solutions. BIG OEMs across the world have solved or working in the right direction to solve the global supply chain collaboration issues. But these BIG OEMs do collaborate with many SMB businesses for supplying critical parts to smooth running of the day to day operations. Unless the similar enterprise solutions are implemented by SMBs (OEM Supplier Base), there is no end for supply chain collaboration challenges the industry is facing.
But we all are aware SMBs does not have deep pockets to afford these BIG TICKET Enterprise solutions. Are you sure, think again… this statement may be valid in 20th century but in 21st century and that too in 2015, we shall not agree because now we are in the era of Cloud technology, where every solution is available on cloud with pay per use model.
Now with the advent of Cloud solutions our global industry is getting democratized. Now every player BIG, SMALL, MEDIUM and MICRO organizations has equal access to technologies, solutions, best practices and also in some cases Future Practices. We already witnessed many cloud based ERP, CRM and PLM solutions delivering value across the world, Cassini Systems just joined this race from India to disrupt this space and provide a helping hand to SMBs in the emerging countries like India, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa.
To help our readers, enthusiasts and our potential customers we would like to explore the maturing Cloud Technology and Solutions and get more insights in to following areas:
- Are Cloud Solutions different?
- Are Enterprise Cloud solution proven?
- Who are using Enterprise Cloud Solutions & why?
Are Cloud Solutions Different?
Cloud is relatively new and 21st century technology, so the cloud solutions will be different, though it may not change basic features and functions, but it will have a great difference in the way these solutions are Installed, Configured, Used, Maintained and Shared across the supply chain.
- License Model: As we have acknowledged that many major players started offering cloud solutions, most of them are offering basic pay-per-use model, starting with Free / less priced basic offering and as functionality and usage increases the subscription prices rise. Now you may be thinking will it be beneficial financially if usage increases, not to worry if you consider TCO - Total Cost of Ownership - atleast for SMBs, Cloud always WINs on price proposition.
- Cloud Hosting: We are moving away from buying huge infrastructure for installing Enterprise solutions to cloud hosting on shared and dedicated servers. With cloud based solutions the responsibility of Installing, maintaining and Upgrading is fully owned by solution provider. SMBs can just utilize services like IaaS or SaaS for infrastructures or solutions usage. It's just clean and smooth solutions for SMBs. I can say this Industry democratization is giving an unfair advantage to SMBs compared to OMEs.
- Usability: In theory the feature and functions are almost same either in Cloud or on Premise solutions. But the great advantage we see is these cloud based solutions are built to work seamlessly with the mobile devices like Smart phone and tablets. This is driving the new era of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to office and be connected from anywhere and everywhere.
These cloud technologies and Enterprise cloud solutions are providing the real muscle to SMBs. This is not only helping SMBs to catch up with OEMs in process improvement and productivity improvement, but also playing a vital role in fixing the global supply chain collaboration issues.
Are Enterprise Cloud Solutions Proven?
Let's accept the reality in spite of so much hype and promotion of cloud solutions in enterprise domain, it's not all rosy. Except for few applications like Salesforce which was built for cloud, other applications are still picking up pace to be best in industry. Most services and solutions providers are almost there.
- Connectivity: When critical enterprise applications are hosted on cloud, availability is very critical. Continuous and Fast connectivity plays a vital role in utilization of cloud enterprise solutions. Amazon, Google, Rackspace and many more cloud infrastructure companies have increased availability to almost 99%. But the bottle neck is with the internet connectivity, this varies from country to country and place to place. With many governments focused on improving infrastructure, internet connectivity is only going to get better and faster.
- Web Applications: Initially many Enterprise Solutions providers to test the cloud market and to promote cloud compatibility released a quick web version of application with less functionality. This approach really back fired initially and now many solution providers are building cloud applications on latest cloud technologies.
- Next Gen Solutions: Like Cassini Systems many vendors have started building new Enterprise Cloud solutions on latest cloud based technologies to gain greater advantage in the long run. These latest cloud based solutions are built on the platform which can be easily extended to Social networking, IoT and future based solutions framework. We advise to choose only complete cloud solutions which are responsive to work on all machines like computers, mobiles and tablets to leverage BYOD culture to gain competitive advantage.
We may be not yet there, but we have proven Enterprise cloud solutions being effectively used and managed across industries. Connectivity is increasing, so as customer awareness and adaption, in the same lines organizations like Cassini Systems taking big bet on cloud technology and building New Cloud based solutions totally from scratch on latest state of the art cloud architecture for a sustainable future.
Who are using Enterprise Cloud Solutions & Why?
If available cloud solutions are not up to the mark and connectivity is not 100%, who are playing the role of early adopters in using the cloud solutions. Yes, though everything is not ready many organizations across the world are taking big bets on cloud solutions.
- Global Collaboration: Organizations with global operations, who need continuous collaboration with different time zones and teams to share data and manage work, can be early adopters. Even in 2000's when web based solutions are very early into markets many big organizations like GE Aviation and many more took the challenge and embraced wed based solutions. Similar organizations are taking lead in adopting to cloud Solutions as well.
- SMBs: Cost Conscious SMB sector are already playing big part in accepting Cloud solutions across USA and Europe. The low startup costs of Cloud solutions are really helping SMBs to start, experiment and explore Enterprise cloud solutions.
- Future Focused: Many Hi-tech Manufacturing organizations and IOT based Start-ups which are more into innovation and future thinking are also playing a significant role in adapting to Enterprise cloud solutions. And with companies like Cassini Systems, who are dedicated to provide state-of-the-art cloud solutions will only increase the chances of more organization joining our Enterprise cloud solutions.
I think we will see a reverse trend in acceptance of Enterprise cloud solutions. Instead of BIG organizations taking lead, we see SMBs playing a vital role in accepting Enterprise cloud solutions. If Cloud Solutions and Services providers come up with innovative and attractive business models, it's not that far when even Big organizations start replacing their multi-million dollar standalone applications with solutions from Cassini Systems and its partners and competitors.
My concluding thoughts are if many organizations already accepted Cloud solutions like Salesforce, they are also ready to accept even end to end Enterprise wide Cloud solutions, but they will be only interested in Value based cloud solutions. If the new organizations like Cassini Systems come into market with Enterprise solutions built from scratch on cloud compatible technologies and with increasing Internet connectivity getting faster everyday, I strongly believe in no time organizations not only accept but thrive on Enterprise cloud solutions.