As long as most of us can remember, there have been roadblocks to trading with our suppliers and customers. The noble EDI sales forces kept repeating how their product would knock down these roadblocks faster than a speeding bullet! Well, let’s bring in the usual suspects and see.
1. Business processes built around paper handling may not be suited for EDI.
2. Another significant barrier is the cost in time and money in the initial set-up.
3. EDI can save a lot of money if an effective number of partners are identified.
4. Routers and servers on the net may store e-commerce data for indeterminate periods.
5. For e-commerce to work, both online companies and Internet consumers must be willing to disclose information about themselves.
6. Many view EDI from the technical perspective that EDI is a data format.
When the norm for computer operations was locating all computing resources within a single location IT concentrated on maintaining frequent and accessible backups to the company data. Copies of the backup were moved offsite. Some organizations even created replication sites where they installed duplicate (but usually smaller) systems that could be brought online by restoring the offsite backup in the case of a local disaster that rendered the main facilities unavailable. For a lot of companies, the process and practice has changed… mostly for the better.
For those of us involved in the supply chain, the definition of disaster is very different from what many companies consider to be disasters. When problems occur with our trading partners in different parts of the world they cause a ripple effect that can be just as damaging to business as can a local flood or power outage. So even if our company has migrated its operations to cloud based infrastructure in which little if any computing infrastructure is located within our physical walls, disasters that are more like flash-floods can surprise us and cause significant problems for our businesses.