What’s the difference between a TMS solution designed from inception to operate in the cloud and one that was born as a hosted solution, and then subsequently modified to be offered via the web? The web-enabled solution provider will insist there is no difference. But in reality, there are a number of reasons why the web-native TMS is superior to its web-enabled counterpart. Here are some of the prominent reasons.
Your IT Department is Busy Enough
Look, there’s a reason why so many critical business processes have been outsourced to Software as a Service (SaaS) solution providers. Web-based software tools completely assume responsibility for not only the development and continuous improvement of the applications they field, but they also manage the maintenance and upkeep of the servers where the applications are hosted. The web-enabled solution often requires a piece of intermediary software to connect the back-end of the solution with the interface used to manipulate the application via the internet. It’s very similar to running a VPN client and logging into the software via that connection. Anyone who has used a VPN knows how frequently challenges arise requiring the intervention of IT resources.
The Future is in the Cloud
All the contemporary technology is being built to operate on mobile platforms which are inherently web-based. As these new protocols continue to be favored in all new product development, it seems anachronistic at best to be tethered to systems that were built using a dying protocol. Sure, new developments occurring in the web-based community can be reverse engineered by way of web enablement. But, this is a costly and time consuming practice which will inevitably end up adding to the costs of a solution. For all intents and purposes, this methodology represents an outmoded way of doing things. Building your solution on top of outmoded technology (even with web-enabled work arounds) simply restricts your ability to scale quickly to meet increased business demand and innovate.
Web-Enabled Solutions Have Built-in Hidden Costs
Latency issues stemming from the extra processing steps required to bring a hosted solution into the cloud can have an impact on performance. Time is money and lost time is lost money. Maintenance of the solution (if it is hosted) comes at the expense of the customer’s IT budget, whereas the cost of system maintenance for a cloud solution is borne by the provider. Modifications to the web-enabled solution are also the responsibility of the customer whereas the cloud provider pays for development and continuous improvement of the application. None of these things individually is a significant cost drain. Together though, they add up to a potentially inefficient cost to benefit ratio for the web-enabled solution.
In sum, it simply makes sense to be on board with the latest and greatest technical advances when it comes to all things tech related. Although the SaaS delivery model is the leading edge of enterprise software, it is not brand new and has been around long enough to be fully tested and proven effective. Don’t settle for less!