Now that cloud technology is nearly everywhere, data sharing and collaboration are easier than ever before. While this is very positive for firms in theory, many of the solutions that currently exist were created with single enterprise business processes in mind.
A number of processes in the business world encompass outside parties, such as order to ship, demand forecasting, procure to pay, quote to cash, service performance monitoring, predictive maintenance, and transportation management, to name just a few. In fact, nearly every business process in the modern day except for accounting involves collaborating with outside business partners to some extent.
Unfortunately, the applications and services that were designed for single-enterprise use can pose a lot of problems. Latency between on-premise applications and the cloud can adversely affect customer service quality, while system delays can lead to lost revenue. The proliferation of electronic data interchange connections and their maintenance costs can eat into ROI, and complicated ERP to ERP data translation involves costly test cycles. Many legacy ERP solutions are also inflexible, with partner onboarding generally rather slow and expensive.
The Need for Collaborative Networks
It is not unusual for a dozen companies to be involved in a single transaction, including carriers, suppliers, banks, customers, service organizations, and insurance companies. A multi-party cloud platform created with collaboration and shared applications in mind can help solve many of these problems. This is a field that is just starting to take off.
CTOs, CIOs, and anyone else involved in the building, planning and deployment of cloud solutions need to look at a broad range of cloud platforms as well as PaaS capabilities. As more companies realize that they can cut out their less-efficient internal business processes and replace them with shared processes, great strides can be made. Firms that get this right can note customer service improvements and an increased bottom line.
This blog post was based off of an article from Supply Chain 24/7. View the original here.