As entities worldwide rush to embrace cloud-based solutions, a fair number organizations are viewing with concern the rapidly diminishing number of alternatives for installed asset tracking systems. Any solution introduced in the past 10 to 15 years will almost certainly be only available as a cloud-based product. Where does this leave organizations that cannot use hosted options either by choice or requirement?
Among solution providers, the argument for a cloud only solution is clear not only from a support standpoint but, possibly more important, as a business strategy. The cloud affords a host of design advantages that allow interconnections to other platforms/applications, easily support phone/table use and offer the potential for significant economies of scale. From a user perspective, the elimination of in-house IT dependency, ease of deployment and access, greater security and 24/7 support present genuine improvements for cloud computing.
Nonetheless, some organizations cannot or choose not to take advantage of the web. Apart from finding suitable options, the challenge for these organizations is to be more careful in the selection process. While only well-established developers will offer installed solutions, a couple of new items need to be added to the must-have list. First, make sure you are dealing with the developer and not a third party who may have no control over the direction or longevity of the product. Second, determine what the plans are for the continued support of the product and what support might be available if it is withdrawn from the market. Third, quantify the percentage of the developer’s clients are unable to move to the web. If that per centage is high, it is likely the product will be supported well into the future.
The bottom line is that installed asset tracking solutions will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. Evaluating these alternatives will require greater and, perhaps, increasing diligence as time passes and computing norms change.