Walking on Clouds: Preparing for Large-Scale Cloud Migrations in the Transportation Industry
February 18, 2021 / Leon Sayers
Are you considering migrating your transportation and logistics organisation to the cloud? A large-scale cloud migration has multiple complexities to consider, but the benefits of cloud migration far outweigh the temporary difficulty of the migration process.
Cloud computing, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and connected technologies have opened up a vast new range of opportunities for transportation and logistics. With cloud connectivity and real-time data from the supply chain, you can streamline deliveries, cut costs, and improve your organisation’s bottom line.
COVID-19 Presented New Challenges to Transportation and Logistics Providers
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected the transportation and logistics sector. Key challenges facing vendors and enterprises include:
- Managing logistics shortages, including filling the need for extra drivers and freight capacity
- Unlocking capacity at speed, in order to fill demand in already secure markets or pivot to take advantage of new opportunities
- Analysing new scenarios, to determine how supply chains would have to adapt if transport routes were suddenly shut down
- Identifying alternative sources of supply, and clarifying the impact on lead times, cost-to-serve, and supply chain risk
- Anticipating spikes in demand for common items, which often cycled in sync with government announcements of restrictions and panic buying
- Adapting to shifting delivery times, as business operating hours fluctuated and deliveries varied widely in bulk and frequency
- Implementing IoT, to support predictive maintenance, route mapping, and other cost-saving measures
Lessons learned during a time of COVID now drive new ways of managing transportation and logistics challenges, and provide impetus for cloud migration.
It’s Past Time for Cloud Migration
According to KPMG, only 13% of Australian companies have complete visibility throughout their supply chain. More than 80% are seeking tools to give them that visibility with real-time reporting. Predictive modeling is just one example of how cloud-driven analytics and data services can help ready your organisation for spikes in resource needs and customer-side demands.
If you have limited resources but are already facing increased customer demand, the time could be ideal for cloud adoption. Your company can apply cloud services to supply chain management, relieving the necessity to establish your own IT infrastructure and minimising the costs of digitisation.
As per research from the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia, the anticipated benefits of IoT for transportation and logistics is a close second only to Big Data Analytics. However, more companies have already implemented IoT than have embraced data analytics at scale. Robotics comes in third on both lists, with 39% of respondents listing it as a game changer for the industry, and 39% already having robotics in play.
A 2019 report from Deloitte notes that 42% of Australian businesses are using paid cloud. One in four companies in transportation and logistics are already leveraging cloud service. However, adoption and migration come with obstacles. The most cited challenges in moving to cloud services are lack of in-house skills to manage the migration, the cost of large-scale migration without downtime, and the existence of legacy systems that are difficult to integrate.
Partnering With Cloud-Savvy Specialists Can Streamline Your Cloud Migration
Transportation and logistics vendors are tapping into cloud development, but the most successful are doing so with support. The best option is to make the migration assisted by experienced digital system management (DSM) partners who have the knowledge and capability to spearhead large-scale migrations while safeguarding stability and security. Using such a partner can bring much-needed expertise to the process, allowing you to:
- Generate a secure infrastructure
- Enhance cloud-based security with authentication and authorisation protocols
- Build a robust, secure cloud app development platform
- Saturate your cloud-based supply chain solution with data-driven insights
- Successfully integrate third-party services
- Achieve cloud migration with little or no downtime
- Maintain the optimal performance required to put stakeholders’ minds at ease
Preparing for Successful Large-Scale Cloud Migration
Identify which processes and operations are most suitable for cloud migration, and plan your move in stages. These will include the simplest processes and plug-and-play applications. Heavily customised solutions will require more finesse as you migrate.
Complex solutions with layers of functionality may need to be broken down into modules, and restacked within your new cloud-based logistics platform. Finally, legacy operations may need to be rebuilt entirely, as compatibility issues may prove more costly to troubleshoot than simply shifting to a modernised version that accomplishes the same purpose. Low-code/no-code options can act as an intermediary between legacy and modern systems at a lower cost of development if budgetary constraints preclude a complete rebuild.
Prioritise supply chain functions such as:
- Supply chain planning and management
- Sourcing and procurement
- Manufacturing to warehousing transport
- Logistics and route planning
The future prospects of cloud-supported logistics and supply chains are bright. Partner with Unisys to unlock the benefits of large-scale cloud migration.
Explore our logistics industry resources to learn more.