As VCs and trade buyers circle and swoop on failing WMS vendors, continued consolidation in the market is creating uncertainty for many users of legacy warehouse management systems. Facing the prospect of getting stuck with an expensive, outdated WMS, many of these companies are already looking for the exit.
While on-premise may have been the only option for a best-of-breed WMS a decade ago, companies that invested six figure sums and months, or even years, in installing a Tier 1 system are now caught between a rock and a hard place, counting the cost of version lock, spiralling maintenance and out of date technology stacks or facing astronomical upgrade bills.
For these reasons, “the on-premise model that has dominated the supply chain software industry since its inception is poised to become something of a relic over the next five years,” according to Supply Chain Digest’s Supply Chain Opportunities and Trends Benchmark Survey 2016. By contrast, thanks partly to their ability to access almost instant updates, cloud-based solutions will soon come to dominate supply chain software delivery.
But, a word of warning – all cloud warehouse management systems are not created equal, with many legacy WMS vendors now scrambling to climb on the bandwagon by offering hosted solutions. However, simply putting a legacy WMS on someone else’s server does not represent a true cloud solution with all the attendant benefits. In fact, putting this software in the cloud is likely to cause performance issues so, if you are buying a cloud WMS, be sure it was built for cloud.
|Without making a switch now, businesses relying on legacy software will be left behind.|
Clouds on the horizon
With as much as 75 percent of logistics professionals planning to move to a cloud WMS by 2020, that leaves the other 25 percent to struggle with the same strung-together platform that may not even be supported in a few years time. Ultimately, companies that don't adapt run the risk of being left behind, not only by their on-premise WMS vendor, but by their frustrated customers too.
A true cloud WMS updates regularly with the latest features and fixes, without any action required on the user's end, offering a future-proof, best-of-breed WMS and a life raft for those companies that find themselves on the old, sinking ship that is the traditional WMS solution.