A long time ago, in a place far, far away, warehouse executives, IT directors, and operations managers gathered in the dark corners of break rooms to plot strategy against the dreaded software upgrade.

Years of customizations to their Warehouse Management Systems had left them vulnerable to the will of their vendors. With their WMS solutions out of date and no longer supported, they, the customers, were trapped. Their only option was to spend the majority of their annual budget upgrading to the latest version of the software.

Such journeys to the dark side would be long and painful, leading these brave professionals down an endless cycle of upgrades, their spirits and software left all but broken, unusable – and then they got the bill.

Actually, such alarming disturbances in the Force took place not that long ago or even that far away. For the past two decades, this has essentially been the upgrade path of every organization using a Warehouse Management System.

That is until the emergence of the Cloud.

Today, with a cloud WMS, painful, costly upgrades are a thing of the past. In the cloud era, upgrading to a new version of the software should be free and easy. The time has come when warehouse executives, IT directors and operations managers can rebel, once again focusing their energies on customer service and growth and not having to waste another moment plotting a path through the upgrade empire.

Why Were WMS Upgrades So Expensive and Complex?

All Warehouse Management Systems require customization to some degree. Even if a system is a 95% fit off the shelf, a certain amount of tailoring is required to manage the specific processes of an organization.

This tailoring is problematic for legacy applications. Too many modifications lead to costly budget and timeline overruns, creating significant challenges when upgrading to a new release. Getting to a new version of a legacy application is a time-intensive, manual process that can tie-up an operations staff for months.

Why the Cloud Makes Software Upgrades So Much Easier

Developed on a state-of-the-art cloud technology framework, cloud systems, like irms|360, include a flexible layer of configurable Business Rules.

With such Rules, organizations are provided with the agility to customize the system to support their unique operational processes without having to modify the software. With hundreds of Rules available, your team can configure and reconfigure on-demand.

4 Reasons Why Software Upgrades are So Much Better with a Cloud WMS

Here are four reasons why software upgrades are so much better with a Cloud Warehouse Management System versus a legacy WMS.

1. No-Cost Upgrades! All cloud Warehouse Management System upgrades are FREE!

OK, well, not all upgrades are free. In fact, many WMS software vendors still charge their clients the same old upgrade fees even though the providers no longer incur the same expenses.

2. Always on the Newest Version

With a cloud WMS, you are always on the latest version of the technology. New software code will become much more frequent as new versions are pushed out on a monthly, bi-weekly or even weekly basis depending on the development practices of the vendor.

Because this deployment method is seamless and easy, you may not even notice while your software is in the process of being upgraded. The days of long, arduous software upgrades are over in the cloud.

3. Access to Brand New Features and Functions

The multitenancy-supportive framework of a Cloud Warehouse Management System provides each client with secure access to their own data for globally accessible and continually available user experience.

At the same time, each WMS customer on the cloud has access to new functionality and features from upgraded software, born of the collective ideas of industry analysts, system users and the vendor. Fast access to the latest such bells and whistles enables operations managers to implement newly released Best Practices immediately, and keep abreast if not ahead of the competition. It may even become an integral part of winning new business.

4. System Configuration Remains Intact

In dark days past, software upgrades threatened operational performance because customizations had to be rewritten back into the system, a time- and labor-intensive process. With a cloud WMS, Business Rule and other customizations remain intact. Such modifications are inherited when the software is upgraded. The time and expense of rework is eliminated with a cloud application.

Now is the time to break from the dark side and let go of that legacy WMS. If you are running your system on outdated technology, begin by investigating how much your organization can save by migrating to a cloud solution. And if your business is still contending with upgrade fees, be sure to have your vendor explain exactly what you are getting when it comes time for the one constant that binds all legacy vendors – paying the bill.