Global trade management applications require agile networks. Focused outside the four walls of an organization, GTM synchronizes orders with global suppliers, manages transportation with global carriers and controls how companies legally and efficiently cross borders. This extra-enterprise nature of GTM requires an architecture that can handle the demands of connectivity and collaboration across a dynamic supply chain. Introducing, the Cloud.
So What is the Cloud?
The cloud is an innovative offshoot of SaaS (and is sometimes called PaaS – platform as a Service). According to a recent Gartner forecast,* worldwide cloud computing services will generates revenues pegged at $68.3bn in 2010, representing an increase of 16.6% over the same period last year, with global cloud services revenue projected to reach $148.8bn in 2014. Increasingly, says Gartner, companies are adopting the cloud, and service companies – well-established, and start-ups both – are offering a range of cloud design and implementation solutions.
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The Cloud and GTM
Among global trade management stakeholders, manufacturers are the largest early adopters of cloud services to date, but high-tech industries are moving to cloud adoption as well, says Gartner.
Cloud computing offers a numer of capabilities for GTM:
- Integrate global suppliers and logistics providers with a shared network
- Plug into value-added services such as trade content from hundreds of countries
- Support new workflows and collaborative processes across the spectrum of imports and exports
- Use configurable software solutions to enable rapid implementation
This leads to several key benefits:
- Reduced operating costs of 20% and upwards
- Elimination of the need for capital investment to support expansion or to handle demand surges
- A cost effective solution for small-to-midsize companies to compete in IT functionality with larger competitors.
Many of these benefits are well understood from the On-Demand hoopla a few years ago, so what is exatly new about Cloud may not be so clear.
This post was published on July 22, 2010 and updated on February 11, 2015.