It's becoming increasingly popular to provide services over the cloud, especially given the cost-savings and improved security for customers. The cloud may seem intimidating at first, but the good news for everyone is that using a cloud-based service isn’t any different from using a more traditional setup, like on-premise. You're likely already using cloud-based products and services in other areas of your life - it's definitely time to explore what a cloud TMS can offer to your trucking company!
Same Product, Better Access
If you have a smart phone, tablet, or computer, chances are you’re already familiar with the cloud and may already be using some services that utilize cloud storage solutions. The convenience of having your photos backed up to a cloud-hosted environment means that you can get more use out of your devices, with the added security of knowing that your pictures and data are safe. The same can be said for other software that uses the cloud. If you’re a trucking company using a Cloud TMS, not only is your important data saved to a cloud-hosted server (with unlimited growth potential – no more shopping around for the best prices for on-prem server upgrades!) but you’ll be able to access that data from the Cloud TMS software installed on your device as long as you are connected to the internet!
When using a Cloud TMS your business can benefit from:
- More flexibility
- Greater scalability
- Improved productivity
And, best of all, a cloud-based TMS looks and performs exactly the same as a product that isn't cloud-based.
Improved Server-Level Security, Less Spending on Infrastructure
Any time your company connects your data to the internet, there is a level of risk involved. Some companies can handle this risk more effectively than others but by-and-large the best way to manage this risk involves investing money into security. Whether it’s locking down access to your on-prem server or hiring more IT experts, ensuring your company’s data is safe can get pricey. This isn’t generally the case when you move your data to the cloud. Your server-level security costs are wrapped into what you pay for your cloud-based TMS.
Just like backing up your home computer or phone to the cloud, your cloud TMS provider will store your information in secure cloud-based servers. A cloud server is a secure server resource that is delivered over a network and can be accessed on demand by multiple users. It’s essentially very similar to an on-prem server setup, except your hardware is housed off-site and the cloud-hosting provider takes care of the security and has strict controls on who can access your information. Since your cloud TMS manages your resources, their team can help ensure you can use your software and access your important data when you need it. While IT providers will still have their place in your business landscape, you won’t need to call on them as often for issues related to your transportation management software when it’s based in the cloud.
It's important to note that while you may benefit from improved server security, you also need to make sure you’re keeping your own computers and other devices that use your network secure. Bad actors can and will try to break through your defences to get to your data, and this is often through vulnerabilities in your own network. Make sure your workstations are up-to-date with current security software and continue to outsource basic IT tasks if you need to. However, rest assured that any data kept in the cloud is locked down tight.
Pay for What You Need When You Need It
After years of paying up-front for space to house your data, purchasing more space on demand sounds like a dream. No more having to forecast a possible busy season months in advance! If you anticipate that you are going to be doing more business and will need more space to house your data, you can simply call up your Cloud TMS provider and ask to provision (set aside) more space for what you need. That space can then be allocated to your business rapidly, without you needing to install physical server components yourself.
This isn’t a new concept. It’s something that is being done every minute by businesses who have chosen to host their data with a cloud-based company, across all industries. The benefits of outsourcing and using someone else’s hardware means that you can free up more of your time to focus on other areas of your business. This is especially true for small to medium sized trucking companies that may not have an accurate idea of what their data needs may be. In this case, saving the up-front costs and moving to the cloud makes a lot of sense especially as businesses may need to become more nimble in the face of uncertain financial markets.
Your company's data will need more space than you may think, so this added flexibility can be helpful but don't be surprised if your data needs grow as your business does! While you may save yourself some up-front costs, you may eventually need more space to keep your business running efficiently. Luckily, adding more space for your cloud TMS is easy and the increased space you give your trucking company can quickly translate to an increased capacity to bring in new business!
Identical Experience, More Opportunities
Does a cloud TMS look or feel any different from an on-premise setup? To keep it short – no. In many cases, the transportation management software experience is greatly improved.
Providers across all industries are making more use of the cloud as the technology becomes more accessible. Many of the digital products you use today make use of cloud-based solutions in some way or another, whether it's online shopping or streaming tv shows from your couch. When it comes to choosing a new product for something as important as your transportation management software, ensuring that the company you’re working with is experienced at providing a service over the cloud is extremely important. Lucky for you, cloud-based is where many top companies are headed, if they aren’t there already. You might not even notice that a company you’re working with is using a cloud-based setup, which is how it should be!
All-in-all, cloud-based services are here to stay and we’re likely all using them to some degree on a daily basis. If you’re presented with the option to use a cloud-hosted service, there are plenty of good reasons to say yes right now. Eventually cloud hosting will become the standard way of providing software you know and use every day. We think investing in a cloud TMS is a move in the right direction!