Over the past several years, companies throughout the supply chain have virtualized their operations as means to enhance operations, communications and distribution. Rather than investing in data centers full of servers with discrete applications, companies are changing the way they purchase hardware, software and management tools and opting for a simpler system. Today, companies of all industries are looking to private clouds to house policy-driven supply chain management software that will automatically deploy services on-demand.
Opting for the cloud
The international market continues to grow, allowing companies of all sizes to extend their operations across geographical barriers using cloud-based technology. The overall goal of virtualization of IT infrastructure is to abstract certain operations away from infrastructure, in order to enable access to information, commands and communication from any location. These supply chain management solutions enhance business integration efforts, as departments and partners can all have access to information in the cloud, creating a greater sense of transparency and faster delivery of information between members, Information Age reported.
Apart from software and applications, company networks are also being virtualized, enabling companies to apply network definitions across all devices and locations. Configurations between participants can happen instantly, rather than making manual adjustments at each location or piece of hardware. Without a virtualized network, companies are spending extra time and money deploying network resources on projects and services, with minimal flexibility to meet customer and partner demands, Information Age reported.
As a result, software-defined networking practices have arisen, replacing hardware and infrastructure used to map routes between network components. By eliminating these aspects of the network and supply chain, companies can offer better agility and automation in their network management, allowing for greater business integration and faster decision-making processes, the website explained.
What the software offers
When considering a supply chain management software solution, companies should browse various packages to find a customized product to meet unique needs. Most supply chain management technology will provide basic functions such as record keeping, tracking, maintenance planning, work orders, scheduling and cost management, as well as more specific solutions for various industries, Ferret reported.
Other supply chain resources will target resource management efforts such as labor, subcontractors, materials, tools and equipment. This data will be integrated into inventory and purchasing applications to complete the supply chain system for enhanced operations, Ferret reported.