You’ve likely heard it said that cloud-based transportation management software is the future for fleets of all sizes. But what does that really mean, and how can you tell whether migrating to the cloud is right for your transportation business?
At Trimble, we’re deeply invested in moving the transportation industry forward by providing both innovative, end-to-end solutions and education that allows companies to identify inefficiencies, cut costs and maximize productivity. We’ve put together this quick guide to help you learn more about the benefits of a cloud-based TMS and determine whether your company is ready to make the move.
Advantages of Cloud-Based Transportation Management Software
Quick, Convenient Access to Information
Efficiency is critical in the world of transportation, which makes a cloud-based TMS system a powerful tool in your arsenal. Instead of having to communicate through local servers or be physically in the office to access key system data and tools, you’ll be able to connect to the information you need from anywhere—even a mobile phone. This advantage is proving particularly important as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect transportation supply chains worldwide.
Security should always be a concern, and it’s perfectly understandable to wonder how safe your critical business information is in the cloud. Allow us to put your mind at ease—today’s cloud is actually more secure than most on-premises systems thanks to proven anti-virus and anti-malware technology and ongoing system monitoring.
IT infrastructure should grow with your business, not hold you back with pricey updates, upfront capital expenses and the difficulty of retaining on-premises support. Trimble Cloud Services offer access to leading-edge technology and a team of highly-trained IT professionals without the burden of hardware failures, maintenance and in-person software upgrades.
Reduced IT Costs
Leveraging a cloud host and managed services allow you to run your IT on state-of-the-art equipment, all managed by a team of industry experts. Not only does this take some of the IT burden off of your in-house IT staff’s shoulders but it also enables you to direct your capital into growing your core business.
Trimble’s IT Consulting Services provide you with expert advice—without the cost of staffing your own team. We’ll work closely with you to assess and optimize your existing IT infrastructure, ensuring that you get the most out of your TMS.
Streamlined Data Backup and Recovery
IT disruptions aren’t just costly; they can be disastrous for your supply chain. A cloud-based TMS can protect critical business data and minimize downtime in the event of a disruption. By utilizing multiple data paths and power sources, as-well-as geographically dispersed backup locations, Trimble Cloud Services for Disaster Recovery ensures that servers and applications are there when you need them.
When Should You Make the Move to a Cloud-Based TMS?
With all of these cloud-based TMS benefits in mind, you may find your question changing from “Should we migrate to the cloud?” to “When can we get this done?” Here are a few key points to assist you with that timeline.
Ask the Right Questions
Before migrating to cloud-based transportation management software, do a deep dive into your current TMS setup. Is it holding you back, and can you afford to keep it in place? How long until the costs of hardware maintenance and repair, along with retaining on-premises IT personnel, outstrip the benefits of managing your own system?
Conduct a Stress Test of Your IT Infrastructure
Another excellent way to investigate whether it’s time to shift operations to the cloud is to conduct a stress test of your existing IT infrastructure. This will allow you to determine how well your current TMS system can hold up to both internal and external disruptions. There are a number of crisis situations you can test, including power outages, loss of connectivity, electrical fires, loss of a skilled employee and cyber attacks.
Identify a Qualified Provider
The benefits of moving to a cloud-based TMS are clear, but the process of finding the perfect provider isn’t. For example, some companies may have useful TMS products, but shallow industry experience. Others might lack skilled IT personnel. How can you find the right fit?
When searching for a provider, you should ask a number of qualifying questions, such as:
How soon can you be up and running after a system failure?
What is your typical uptime?
What is your procedure in case of a data breach?
How experienced are your IT professionals?
What are your hosting service options and IT infrastructure, and can they grow with my business?
The answers to these questions will help you locate a provider whose capabilities and depth of knowledge match your needs and business objectives. Trimble’s Cloud Service provides the best of both worlds: extensive transportation industry experience and highly-qualified IT professionals prepared to support your operations.
Learn More About Transitioning to a Hosted Cloud Provider for Your TMS Needs
Still not quite sure about making such a major change to your IT infrastructure? Take a look at our brochure, “When to Move to the Cloud.” It’s packed with key information that will see you from the decision-making process through the transition—and beyond. And, as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to find out more about Trimble’s unique TMS solutions.