For the last decade supply chain leaders and CIO’s have been evaluating when and how to move their supply chain applications to the cloud. Many distinct factors influence the timing of their decision to make the move. And, for some organizations, understanding and realizing the full potential of the cloud can seem out of reach.
Let’s break down the trade-off between an on-premises and a cloud environment, what it means for your business, and how you can realize the optimal potential of a cloud investment.
The key areas to consider when upgrading to the cloud include:
- The Value of Cloud Technology
- Cost Competitiveness
- Performance Expectations
- Support Expertise & Response
The Value of Cloud Technology
Which business drivers and advantages are motivating companies to shift to the cloud?
The primary business drivers to moving to the cloud are:
- Leveraging a network of data and information – A cloud environment creates enormous value for the supply chain by leveraging a network of data and information to allow greater collaboration and continuous innovation. It scales the interchange of that intelligence to deliver value to clients, suppliers, buyers, and sellers with considerable speed, agility, and visibility and promotes greater business efficiency.
- Timely and accurate data – Digital planning platforms are driven by timely and accurate data. And those that leverage on-demand services provide secure access to scalable, high-performance environments available around the globe. This structure can be a huge win for your IT teams focused on managing their core business devices and services.
- Integrations for modern and frequent data updates – The Logility® Digital Supply Chain Platform includes a data integration layer that enables your organization to build modern integrations that support frequent data updates. Integrations include cloud ERP systems, data warehouse solutions, or big data systems – such as Microsoft Azure Synapse and Snowflake – or can be driven by events or web services that make the platform more responsive.
Cloud advantages include:
- Improved collaboration – a cloud-based supply chain platform enables better collaboration between supply chain partners, allowing for real-time communication and collaboration.
- Increased visibility – a cloud platform provides real-time visibility into critical supply chain data, such as inventory levels, which can help you make informed decisions.
- Scalability – a cloud platform can be quickly scaled up as needed, allowing you to adjust to changes in demand or business growth.
- Cost savings – a cloud platform reduces the need for you to invest in hardware, infrastructure, and maintenance.
- Enhanced security – cloud provides robust security measures and can help you better protect your supply chain data and systems.
- Disaster recovery – a cloud-based platform provides a backup and recovery solution, which can help you mitigate the impact of natural disasters or other disruptions.
What do these drivers and advantages mean for my business?
Your organization can easily communicate and share data across its global supplier network. This capability increases visibility into the most pertinent information to plan more effectively and onboard alternative suppliers when needed. But more importantly, your organization gains the flexibility and responsiveness to address opportunities, risks, and disruptions early on – taking pressure off the shoulders of supply chain planners and managers.
- In a 2022 study conducted by Accenture entitled, “How the cloud boosts supply chain innovation”, they found that 60% of cloud leaders are outperforming their competitors in supply chain transformation. More than half (53%) say that cloud is enabling them to achieve greater resiliency and sustainability. And 41% say that putting their supply chain in the cloud gives them greater visibility What’s the true value of cloud for supply chain?”, Mansi Arora, Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Supply Chain & Operations, Sourcing and Procurement, Accenture, November 29,2022
How does the Logility cloud platform ensure platform stability and scalability?
On the stability side, the Logility platform is hosted in world-class cloud data centers with state-of-the-art power, cooling, and security systems. This network of data centers is available across more than 65 global regions – all of which are selected based on the locations of our clients and their data residency concerns. This approach helps ensure that users access the cloud platform with performance that feels “local.”
On the scalability side, the platform enables tremendous flexibility. It operates on resources that can scale horizontally or vertically, which allows your organization to connect to new partners or suppliers rapidly. In addition, aspects of the platform – such as compute, memory, storage, or bandwidth resources – can be scaled to meet evolving needs and market conditions.
The combination of stability and scalability drives greater supply chain resilience. In other words, your supply chain organization gains the extensive visibility necessary to anticipate and predict market changes and risks across your network.
How does the cost of a cloud-based platform – compared to on-premises software – make the cloud a more competitive choice?
Organizations always weigh quality and advantages with costs in every purchase decision – and that reality is undoubtedly true for cloud application hosting. Many CIOs and IT leaders have established strategic initiatives to move to the cloud, but ultimately their choices must add value to their core business.
Compared to traditional on-premises infrastructure, a cloud platform can offer cost advantages in several ways:
- Capital expenditure (CAPEX) vs. Operating expenditure (OPEX): On-premises infrastructure requires you to invest significant capital expenditures upfront to acquire and set up hardware and software, whereas a cloud platform operates on a subscription-based model that allows you to manage costs as operating expenses over time.
- Scalability: A cloud platform offers you the flexibility to scale resources on demand. This elasticity allows you to control costs better by paying for accurately sized resources, rather than having to invest in infrastructure that may remain underutilized.
- Maintenance and upgrades: Maintaining and upgrading on-premises infrastructure can be costly and time-consuming. In contrast, with the cloud platform, Logility and Microsoft manage and maintain the infrastructure, reducing the burden on your business and lowering your costs.
Logility’s cloud platform provides more cost-effective options to acquire, operate, and maintain your supply chain IT infrastructure, allowing you to manage your IT costs better and free up resources to invest in other areas of the business.
The comparison comes down to fully understanding the total cost of ownership for on-premises systems. The cloud includes budget categories such as hypervisors, servers, licenses, maintenance, support, IT and support staff, backup, disaster recovery, security, and audits. But even if on-premises investments are distributed across different cost centers, the total cost of the cloud, plus the opportunity cost involved, makes better sense for supporting long-term digital transformation.
Does the cost include a sandbox for continuous technological innovation and experimentation?
The default pricing for the Logility Digital Supply Chain Platform includes one non-production environment and one production environment.
What level of performance can my organization expect from a cloud platform?
When migrating to the cloud, system performance is a big focus during an agile upgrade project. It is part of the criteria evaluated in preparation for a go-live to ensure satisfaction and optimal business performance. Such concerns may include anything from processing runtimes to web application latency.
The Logility platform addresses that concern by sizing environments based on critical operating parameters that define your data scale and positioning the cloud environment regionally to minimize latency.
Does the license or contract limit the number of available test environments?
Both the non-production and production environments for the Logility platform can be scaled as required to provide additional environments to align with temporary or more permanent organizational needs.
You can request additional environment capacity and timelines through Logility’s request management system. Logility’s cloud experts then provision the environment based on the agreed-upon terms.
How quickly can we shift to the Logility cloud?
Migration time will vary depending on your needs and other initiatives. You can achieve a focused migration in a matter of weeks. If the project is part of a bigger business transformation with defined outcomes, it may take up to a few months.
How does the cloud ease the ability to acquire new applications and digital capabilities or take advantage of enhancements and upgrades for existing digital investments?
Software upgrades are less challenging in the cloud because you can test and validate them in the cloud environment quickly and with less risk and cost to your organization.
For instance, Logility releases updates and enhancements up to six times annually. This allows you to adopt new software faster to benefit from the most up-to-date features, performance, and security improvements. Additionally, the cloud platform subscription includes flexible cloud resources deployed and installed by Logility experts.
If we’re using an older version of an on-premises Logility solution, can our organization move directly to the cloud without upgrading to the latest version of the Logility Digital Supply Chain Platform?
In this situation, Logility works directly with you to define a project to upgrade the existing system as you migrate it to the Logility cloud environment. Doing so ensures that your users get the full benefit of the latest and greatest technology available in the cloud.
What are the security advantages of cloud-based technology and hosting models?
The security of cloud systems and data can never be emphasized enough. The cloud based Logility® Digital Supply Chain Platform has made considerable investments in its talent and systems and continuously refine its security posture.
Key security features include:
- Annual third-penetration testing
- 24x7x365 security operations center (SOC)
- Annual SOC 2 Type II audit and attestation
- Geographically isolated encrypted data backup
- Encryption by default for data in transit and at rest
- Ongoing code vulnerability scanning, both dynamic and static analysis
- Continuous security awareness education for business developers and teams
- Single sign-on to maintain control over user access password, multi-factor authentication, and conditional access policies
- True disaster recovery capabilities
- Extended detection and response (XDR) and security information and event management (SIEM) systems to continually ingest telemetry that monitors systems for malicious behavior
Can we maintain a data security model that relies on many Active Directory security groups assigned to SQL server roles?
It is common for Logility implementation teams to configure data access and other role-based access controls during migration and implementation. The goal is to retain the existing security model as much as possible while aligning with the cloud identity gateway and security systems. Taking this step helps ensure the cloud platform is effectively managed going forward.
What level of access does my organization have to run SQL queries against the cloud database?
Data can be exposed for analytics purposes through several different mechanisms. The first is integration back into the data reporting and warehousing system. Data can also be replicated from underlying planning databases into cloud-based SQL databases that can be queried interactively. Replicated data can be refreshed frequently and approached in real-time.
How is the ability to interface data from an ERP and data warehouse impacted when moving from an on-premises landscape to a hosted environment?
The cloud platform includes a data integration layer that provides flexible integration options to and from on-premises systems. They include ERP templates, relational database connections, secure file transfer options, and RESTful web services.
Logility delivers on that promise by partnering with you during implementation to select the secure integration approach that best fits your systems and integration patterns.
Support Expertise and Responsibilities
What responsibilities do my IT teams retain after moving to the cloud?
Your IT teams often play a critical role in administering user access through an identity provider, defining data integration sources and transformation rules, and enforcing data access controls. In addition, they monitor the availability of data sources exposed or feed the application integration.
Which support activities are included in the cloud platform subscription?
In Logility’s case, the subscription covers a range of services to sustain, monitor, and manage the digital supply chain platform. In addition to 24×7 platform and integration support, you can access continuous improvement experts who help tune and enable new features as well as dedicated client success managers who guide your entire journey to the cloud.
Is Logility a trusted cloud service provider?
Logility has been hosting the Logility Digital Supply Chain Platform in the cloud for over 10 years, helping hundreds of organizations worldwide modernize their supply chain platforms. Our clients benefit from expertise in tuning forecasts, adjusting planning parameters, optimizing the supply plan, and tracking key supply chain metrics.
To maintain nearly 1,000 servers under management, we’ve built global teams of application, integration, operations, and security experts who are available 24×7 worldwide. In addition, Logility has dedicated the last decade toward developing and refining the systems, teams, and procedures required to deliver a cloud experience that meets clients’ standards and expectations.
Every innovation effort is backed by consulting teams with deep experience in architecting and implementing cloud-based systems.
Logility has the technology, teams, tools, and processes to help guide you through your digital transformation process. Contact us to find out how we can navigate your cloud supply chain journey together.