In many ways, the logistics industry presents the perfect conditions for the user of cloud-based analytics. Logistics companies have to take into account reams of complex and constantly changing factors that influence their decision making on a minute-to-minute basis. Global supply chains now have more players, are more complex, and are generating more data points than ever before. Added to this, the industry is also seeing a higher level of competition with the traditional suppliers losing ground to smaller, more agile companies.
All of these challenges can be dealt with far better by adopting a cloud-based model of data analytics. Cloud solutions have reached a point where the technology is developed enough, and cheap enough, that they are accessible to all. So how does cloud-based analytics help?
One of the primary benefits of cloud-based analytics is being able to collect, analyse and gain insights from data in near real-time. Operating in a global environment means logistics companies need to be able to react quickly to any changes in supply or demand. Extreme weather or geopolitical events can also have significant adverse effects on supply chains and routes. Being able to react to such obstacles quickly can make, or break, margins.
Operating in the cloud means this analysis can happen in near real-time. No waiting on locally stored data to then be transferred between other data silos and between departments. This also grants a greater level of reliability. Should connection be lost from any data storage then nothing will be lost as it will all be securely interred in the cloud.
The accessibility of cloud-based analytics is also a significant boost for logistics companies. The global and mobile nature of the modern logistics industry means that companies are rarely ever based in one location. Meaning that any analytics solution that is based in a single location is also now obsolete.
Cloud-based analytics means logistics providers can access the same data from wherever they are in the world, and from any device. This is great news for companies that have a multi-national operation, and also fantastic that those that need to keep an eye on things on the move. Access from mobile devices, with a sufficient internet connection, means insights really can be gained anywhere.
Making data analytics tools more accessible through basing them in the cloud is a smart move for logistics companies. The increase in access does carry some risk with it though. It is simply a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Because more data is collected than ever before and can now be analysed in more and increasingly complex ways there is a risk of creating data chaos.
The same tools that cause this risk also give companies greater control, however. Operating in the cloud means a central ‘control’ version of data can be managed and disseminated from there. When decisions can be made on the smallest of changes and margins are so tight, it is essential that logistics companies are working from the same page. Cloud-based analytics grants this ability. On-site hosting methods simply would not be able to keep up.
Modern data analytics tools work better in the cloud. It is as simple as that. Unlike older iterations, they are designed to operate there. The benefits for the logistics industry, with its global, mobile and constantly evolving nature are plentiful. Cloud-based analytics grants outstanding accessibility and flexibility whilst still retaining strong central controls. Logistics companies must now adapt to so many influences that cloud-based analytics are becoming essential.