There is little question that cloud is well established as a way to deliver business applications. Based on IDC research, over 70% of manufacturing companies are using hosted applications somewhere within their supply chain, with another 25% considering it. The most popular supply chain management (SCM) application areas are transportation related (transportation management, global trade management), where the "network effect" (i.e., carrier pooling, regulatory impact) can leverage both shared knowledge and existing connectivity along with sales and operations planning, demand signal management, and business intelligence/analytics. The concern that cloud is "risky" is increasingly taking a back seat to the perceived benefits of the technology. Indeed, those benefits, both achieved and anticipated, are significant, including cost, speed of implementation, and the ability to "consume" new capabilities and functionality easily and transparently.
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