Would you rather buy a new car from 1995 or 2014? The 1995 model may still be “new” in the sense that it’s never been driven before, but it’s missing 20 years of technology and innovation that have pushed the industry forward. You’re getting 1995 technology but paying the same price as if it had 20 more years of technological improvements behind it.
This is essentially what is happening when you buy a fake cloud WMS. You’re entrusting your business to a version of software written long ago that’s just been superficially patched to seem like it’s brand new. The basic functionality built into new systems isn’t going to be there, the ease and speed isn’t going to be there, and you’re going to be stuck covering huge sums of built-in extra costs the vendor incurs from their own shortsighted decisions. It’s a mess, and nobody is going to feel it more than your business.
A company selling a fake cloud product shows a fundamental unwillingness to invest in their clients’ success. They won’t commit to embracing technology and they’re stuck playing catch-up. It’s a short-term money grab to quickly jam a bunch of twenty-year-old pieces together into a delivery method they never anticipated and definitely haven’t developed for. They can market it as “the cloud” all they want, but it offers nowhere close to the functionality a real cloud solution does; and their clients are going to feel the pain from it.
You can often spot a fake cloud because you’ll need to login through a separate portal before you can even access your WMS. It’s akin to running your warehouse by clumsily controlling somebody else’s computer over a GoToMeeting. The biggest red flag for the fake cloud though, especially when dealing with legacy providers of on-premise warehouse management systems, centers on a concept known as multi-tenancy:
The True Cloud
Multi-Tenant: In the true cloud, every WMS is hosted as part of a singular whole. It’s like four people riding harmoniously in a single car.
Instant Upgrades: Everything is kept on a single instance, with your data secured and only accessible through your specific login credentials. Your cloud provider only has to push through an update one time and every tenant on their system will be upgraded simultaneously. The cloud-based WMS can be upgraded throughout the entire user base of thousands at once.
The Fake Cloud
Single-Tenant: In the fake cloud, every WMS is still hosted individually and separate from one another, like four cars tethered together all trying to do their own thing. Each application is trapped in its own silo, just like on-premise deployments.
Slow, Costly Upgrades: The single-tenant approach of the fake cloud means that every WMS hosted still has to be customized or upgraded individually, which means a lot of extra time and money. Every WMS they host will have to be upgraded individually.
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This is the fifth part in our ongoing series about how to best budget for new technology within your supply chain. Learn more about how irms|360’s supply chain solutions will fit in your budget and help boost revenue and business growth by reading the previous entries in the series.