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The biggest myths about cloud software

10 August 2016 / by Chris Anton, Executive VP for SnapFulfil North America

Cloud software solutions may be among the most talked-about innovations in tech today, but it's not always clear what's in store for a business adopting these strategies for the first time. After all, the essence of the cloud model is one that encourages transparency. Whether through unfamiliarity, poor past experiences or a little of both, professionals working in many industries, including the warehousing and supply chain world, may be reluctant to adopt a cloud-based software as a service model for something as vital as a warehouse management system.

Technology of any kind changes rapidly, but it's inevitable that some generalized ideas about a certain type of product will keep coming up. Although solutions like a cloud WMS may be relatively new, it's clear that these prevalent misconceptions simply don't apply to high-quality providers.

Myth: Cloud isn't secure

One of the most common and pervasive misconceptions surrounding cloud software concerns its security. This is only natural, since putting large amounts of sensitive data in the hands of another business takes an enormous amount of trust. In the shipping and business inventory industry especially, even a small company could hold loads of information, from customer credit cards to employees' personal history.

"Security in the cloud is often stronger and more manageable."

The reality of the situation is much less frightening. As tech consulting agency Gartner pointed out, no data currently available suggests information stored on premises is more secure - in fact, it's quite the opposite. Instead, the central point lies in reputation.

"Cloud computing is perceived as less secure," Gartner noted. "While cloud providers should have to demonstrate their capabilities, once they have done so there is no reason to believe their offerings cannot be secure."

Myth: It's too expensive and complicated

Small-business owners make ends meet by working hard to increase value and eliminate waste at every turn. So it's no surprise that some may be hesitant to adopt a cloud WMS model for their supply chain operations. Especially in this industry, keeping capital expenses low and project turnaround times fast are among the highest priorities.

As Small Business Computing noted, it's common for small businesses to assume that cloud solutions are simply "not for them." But this couldn't be further from the truth. The cloud model allows for more than just an update to crucial systems. Since a cloud WMS operates on a regular payment schedule, there's no need to invest a significant amount of capital into the project before even getting off the ground.

Warehouses just work better in the cloud.

Cloud software is capable of vastly reducing lead time as well, compared to on-premises solutions. Without the need for specialized hardware, complicated coordination for integration or other common hiccups, implementation can take mere weeks for a SaaS WMS. On the other hand, some on-premise options could take more than a year to get sorted out. That's valuable downtime that small businesses just can't manage.

Ultimately, this myth is just as reliant on common perceptions of cloud software. As a new or specialty model, many assume that cloud services are only within the reach of large corporations. In fact, businesses of any size will see enormous benefit from a cloud strategy.

The right software solution should accomplish every goal a business needs, while at the same time providing a high level of real value. A cloud WMS effectively bridges the gap between short-term time savings and long-term reduction of capital expense. This allows more more efficient warehouses, a roomier bottom line, and ultimately, sustainable growth.