A reliable, efficient and secure warehouse management system (WMS) is the lifeblood of a healthy warehouse operation, much like a supply chain with the same attributes is the lifeblood of a healthy business.
In today’s day and age – with cyberattacks, other breaches and supply chain disruptions on the rise – security of your system has never been more important. A properly secured WMS will help protect your company from downtime and the decreased employee productivity that go with it, reputational damage and a potential loss of customers (and revenue) that could result from a breach or other disruption.
Despite major advances in cloud security over the past few years, some supply chain organizations have yet to be convinced that a cloud-based WMS is more secure than an on-premise one However, cloud-based apps have many more benefits than their on-premises counterparts and can keep your supply chain more safe and secure.
Let’s take a look at both options.
Which to choose – in-house or in the cloud
An in-house server sits somewhere inside your four walls or within the wider organizational network. Since it belongs to your company, you can customize it to your business’ needs, which is a plus. However, if this is carried out by a person not familiar with change management, this can also have a potentially negative impact on your business. Some other negatives are that an on-premise WMS requires a large, up-front capital expenditure, an often-lengthy deployment time, occasional costly upgrades and the expense of employing staff with expertise to ensure deployment provides the right business impact and to support ongoing maintenance and upkeep. Not to mention, it can be highly susceptible to hacks and ransomware.
On the other hand, a cloud-based or virtual server is built, hosted and delivered via the internet. Data is automatically backed up and separated from production, which increases safety of your systems should a breach or disruption occur. Therefore, if you have an internet connection, your employees can access it remotely, which has become a critical asset as hybrid work environments have grown in popularity.
Further, a cloud-based WMS comes with predictable monthly costs, professionally certified architecture, servers deployed within about two weeks or less and upgrade costs included. Plus, you don’t need to employ staff with years of experience with the system and product for its installation or upkeep, as that’s a part of the cloud package.
However, some organizations have yet to transition to the cloud, even though it provides multiple levels of security that in-house systems lack.
In favor of a cloud-based WMS
While cybercrime is one of the biggest threats to businesses and was exacerbated by increased cyberattacks during the pandemic, the cloud is the future of supply chains. Many organizations are increasingly moving their workloads to the cloud. Why? Because it’s much safer than on-premises options. In fact, the cloud WMS market is expected to grow by a 28.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2020-2025.
Cloud-based WMS solutions contain built-in business protection with automatic, comprehensive backup capabilities and safety measures. So, if you suffer a system failure or other catastrophic event, the cloud backs up your data so your WMS can keep operations rolling along. Further, a cloud-enabled WMS enables easier and more comprehensive:
- Compliance – Even though regulations increase or change, a cloud solution automatically tracks compliance and IT security incidents and measures taken, along with the possibility of attestation reports.
- Safeguarding – A cloud WMS is built with safety of your supply chain operations in mind to help minimize profit loss through encryption and additional security features. Whether you have one site or 100, all your facilities are covered by a high level of security. This decreases the likelihood of downtime and cyber security incidents.
- User authentication – Because it uses multi-factor authentication, you have the power to decide who accesses the WMS and when, which helps increase overall security.
- Business continuity – The cloud eliminates many of the distractions that reduce productivity and lead to downtime, enabling you to maximize yield across your warehouse.
What’s more, costly physical updates are no longer necessary since they’re done virtually. Automatic data backup and recovery means you don’t need to worry when systems are disrupted, and external support is available if and when you need it.
The cloud holds the key to WMS security
With digital transformation accelerating, it’s important that your WMS can address new, evolving cyber security concerns, while seamlessly integrating with new technology. With a cloud-based WMS, you gain external support from a provider that acts as an extension of your own team. Remember, a reputable provider with cloud experience should have supply chain software experts to help you keep your WMS running smoothly and securely.
Today’s cloud WMS solutions come with built-in protective measures and comprehensive backup capabilities. So, if you suffer a cyberattack, system failure or other catastrophic event, the cloud backs up your data and IT systems so business can continue moving forward. In short, a cloud transition ensures you’re working with the most modern technology, increases security and enables you to better compete in a changing business landscape.
In the post-COVID-19 market, businesses that prosper will be those that are agile, adaptable, and willing to embrace digital acceleration. Supply chains that do what they always did will get what they always got. The way forward is through digital change, and much of that change is enabled by a move to the cloud.
Get more information on how a cloud-based WMS is the safest way to go.