We recently had an opinion piece on data interoperability in the cloud published by Supply Chain Brain and in this blog post we’d like to expand on a few themes.
Whether you are facing a push to globalize your organization, or simply need to cut costs and improve revenues from existing customers, cloud computing is the surest, fastest and most reliable way to achieve the levels of seamless data interoperability required to stay competitive. On-premise software, however global its reach, is ultimately defined by the siloed processes and walled-off data storage practices that defined the earliest versions. Cloud computing systems, on the other hand, were developed with the clear objective of extending business processes, safely yet powerfully, beyond departmental gatekeepers and institutional firewalls, past political arguments and internecine struggles for control over data and reporting. Put simply, cloud computing does not simply enable superior data interoperability—it enforces portability and interoperability.
The reality is that your customers, partners, suppliers and employees are on the web and in the cloud. Data has to be there too, whether your company is a wholesale distributor or manufacturer or competes in another industry. Data must live and be integrated in the cloud because any other approach introduces complexity, unnecessary costs, latency and business friction that hinders interaction with key stakeholders and hurts profitability.
Because cloud applications are built on newer, more flexible infrastructures, it is far easier to localize them both to regional language and business process requirements. New translations and country-specific business processes can also be deployed painlessly to different markets, without the need to upgrade individual desktops and servers. More importantly to the information management professional, new product and service lines in emerging territories will be subject to the same data structures as the rest of the company, preventing the spread of pockets of data with no clear relationship to the overall company's operations.
From single location businesses to multi-site or multi-national companies, data needs to be available at the right time, in the right format, to the right user. The cloud, or on-demand Software as a Service SaaS), makes that possible.
True data interoperability has eluded many companies for decades. Not out of malice or a lack of will or interest, but simply because until the cloud computing revolution, integration and interoperability were so brutally painful to achieve. A major network equipment manufacturer made that painfully clear when it abandoned its preferred on-premise provider's CRM system for the cloud after a grueling five-year integration effort failed to launch. Fortunately, the technology and processes now exist to bypass the hair-pulling debates and brute-force, ill-fitting marriages of unrelated on-premise applications. The cloud revolution has come, and is the rational, superior choice for the accurate, unimpeded data access today's companies need to survive.
We are committed to providing our customers and partners with a robust, scalable, always-on platform and solution—your opportunity is to take advantage of it and thrive!
- Roman Bukary, Head of Industries Marketing, NetSuite