To say that software is moving to the cloud would be like coming late to the party. Yes, there is still software on your desktop machines and on your servers. But even the most ardent and heavyweight applications have found their way to cloud based platforms. For the supply chain this is particularly good news (and good practice) since the essence of supply chain business is distributed around the globe.
Picking an email system like gmail or even Yahoo mail is an obvious choice because of the nature of email – the content moves from one computer to another over the Internet. When online connections were more temporary, expensive, and less reliable it made sense to use a local application like Microsoft Outlook to handle the sending and receiving of the mail as well as editing the messages. But those limitations are long gone for most of us.
Simply downloading the interface at the same time as the message works surprisingly well, and the software we use is updated as frequently as needed to add features, remove bugs, and generally make our experience better – without requiring us to do anything about the software itself other than to use it.
The concept of perpetual updates is moving beyond applications too. Microsoft recently gave hints about moving its Windows operating system to a service model. That’s surprising news for many because Windows continues to be a significant source of revenue. Of course that move doesn’t necessarily mean Windows will be free. But it does indicate a transition in thinking.