Here at Falcon, we are big proponents of outsourcing functions that are not a core competency. It is how we help our customers every day since our core competency involves dealing with the details involved with purchasing and coordinating inventory levels for parts that cost pennies on the dollar. Through no fault of their own, the ability to source and manage these nuisance items effectively, typically falls outside of a purchasing manager’s proficiencies.
Likewise, more and more businesses are beginning to take a similar approach with their IT infrastructure. Last year, Falcon made a decision as a company to move to the cloud. What is cloud computing? Cloud computing is the process of using servers or programs hosted on the internet rather than on the premises.
While our reasons for doing this included allowing us the ability to serve customers anywhere there is internet connectivity (both for our internal staff, as well as for our customer), there are a host of other benefits that came with and were key reasons for our decision. One such reason, disaster recovery, and mitigating risk played a very important role in our decision and is one area where supply chain and purchasing managers are placing more and more emphasis within their supply base.
What are the benefits of Cloud Services?
Avoid hardware and software obsolescence
By subscribing to Cloud Services and SaaS-based (Software as a Service based) software, the subscriber automatically gets the latest versions of software and all the benefits of running on a regularly maintained IT Infrastructure. The subscriber pays a monthly rate for the latest and greatest updates for much less than it would cost to maintain the same level of performance and security internally.
Solid Business Continuance Plan with Data Restoration and Minimal Interruption
In the event of a catastrophe, a company using Cloud Services can ensure their customers’ data is intact. With Cloud-based systems in place, a subscriber can continue to do business as usual with access to the internet.
Only pay for what is Needed/Used
With a Cloud based infrastructure, there is practically no limit to growth capability and no costly up-front investment for hardware or software to support unpredictable growth requirements. You could almost treat Cloud Services as a lean initiative in this application.
Better Integration Capability
By outsourcing IT infrastructure, removing worries about upgrades, updates, old servers, internal resources, research and learning, a company/supplier can focus on better serving their customer and offer more options/ways to integrate with their customers’ systems.
Safety plays a major part in integration capability as well as minimizing risk. In today’s world, every company has a door to the internet, which means everyone is exposed to hacking. A reputable cloud service provider will have a team of experts and a larger budget to devote to security than the average company.
If you are assessing a new or existing supplier, take a close look at their disaster recovery plan as well as the frequency in which they update and maintain their IT infrastructure. You will likely find that working with a supplier who uses Cloud Services helps mitigate risk in your supply chain and may be an area where you can improve.