This IDC Manufacturing Insights Perspective looks at the growing appeal of cloud applications in supply chain management (SCM). Indeed, the increasing availability of fully featured, cloud-based supply chain applications is poised to transform the way that manufacturing organizations purchase and consume supply chain management applications. While cloud (or software as a service) applications have been available for some time, the reality is that these applications were often "lite" versions of their on-premise brethren. This was in part a function of the misguided assumption that the customer base would be smaller, less mature businesses whose requirements are somehow less "sophisticated." The fact is that smaller manufacturers are held to the same levels of business performance by the marketplace as larger enterprise manufacturers; further, the appeal of cloud applications has not been limited to the smaller end of the marketplace. The other limitation was the ability of technology to deploy via cloud implementations (both hardware and software) and the time involved to develop cloud-based alternatives. This is no longer a limitation.
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