Cloud computing for supply chains – de-bunking some of the myths

Cloud ComputingWe hear a lot today about computing in the cloud. It’s certainly something that by and large is being welcomed and embraced by the supply chain community; at least those with a good technical knowledge of computing. But there are still many non-techies who view the cloud with suspicion, so here in this brief article Supply Chain Station is going try to de-bunk some of the negative myths that have built up.

Computing in the cloud actually enhances supply chain security

Despite the wariness that many non-techies exhibit when it comes down to computing in the cloud, this new technology isn’t some sort of time bomb that’s waiting to go off and catch users out – far from it. It can enhance data storage and supply chain operation many times over, making good use of things like Big Data and actually enhancing security rather than putting it at risk which is what many uninformed people think.

Let’s take a quick look at 3 of the most feared “threats” and clear up a few points

The cloud is not a hacker’s paradise

The truth of the matter is that many companies’ computer security is sadly inadequate. The only reason most of them don’t get hacked is that they don’t hold the sort of sensitive data that hackers are really interested in. It’s not just SMEs whose computer security is lacking, so are many of the big physical data farms which physically store boatloads of data for their customers.

Providers of cloud services, whether they are for supply chain management or any other administrative functions have to satisfy stringent security measures in order to be able to offer their services. These measures far outweigh those undertaken by most private businesses.

Those companies who are particularly at risk usually opt for private cloud services where they have complete control, not only of access to data, but equally as importantly, to security measures too. But even SMEs can rely on the security measures that are in operation on shared cloud platforms. The truth of the matter is that their data is at least as well protected, and almost defiantly more so, than if they held it on their own machines.

Your public cloud neighbors don’t get access in your data

Having debunked the myth about external threats to data kept in the cloud, how about internal threats – threats from other “tenants” in the same public or shared cloud? This is after-all how most people use the cloud, even those with medium to large supply chains to run.

The point is that every cloud user has their own customized security protocols. It’s rather like a shared tenement block. Lots of people share the same floor and indeed the same building, but each has their own specific, customized door key.

Protection from unintended illegal transmission of data

Some countries are more heavily regulated than others regarding data storage and transmission, but your cloud service provider should be able to tell you where your data is stored, and where everything originates from and where it goes too. International border controls and data governance are very well protected.

The bottom line is that computing in the cloud whether for supply chain management or simply data storage is in the main safer than ground based computing, but choosing your cloud service provider needs to be done with care.


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