As organizations get more comfortable with cloud computing in general, one of the next, big killer applications in the cloud is expected to be supply chain management. After all, the business value of a supply chain is directly proportional to the number of companies connected to it.
GT Nexus, an early pioneer in this space, this week moved to create some additional critical mass in the cloud via the acquisition of TradeCard, which across a combined supply chain in the cloud will now together account for the management of goods valued at over $100 billion.
According to Greg Kefer, vice president of corporate marketing for GT Nexus, this “merger of equals” is intended to create critical mass in a segment that, while growing, has not seen the kind of broad-based adoption many have expected. The reason for this, says Kefer, is that organizations have been slow to relinquish control over supply chains built on top of proprietary systems. But as e-commerce continues to evolve, Kefer says businesses ranging from Renault to Pfizer have come to realize that supply chain applications in the cloud are not only more cost efficient, they drive more collaboration across the supply chain.
Ultimately, that collaboration not only allows companies to drive more costs out of their supply chains, it also makes it easier to share knowledge across a system that everyone has shared access to during, for example, a catastrophic event that might lead to major supply chain disruptions.
Kefer says GT Nexus doesn’t expect organizations to give up their internal supply chains anytime soon. But he does expect that many organizations will look to services such as GT Nexus to gain higher levels of agility that can only be achieved using cloud applications. In the meantime, as organizations look to insure sustainability, interest in supply chain segmentation is growing. And, for the moment, the only way to effectively segment a supply chain is to manage it in the cloud.