In times of crisis, enterprise applications and the cloud are vital for supply chain sustainability

June 14, 2021

The pandemic forced the reorganization of the way companies, social organizations, and governments work, particularly with remote work

In any crisis, leaders must reach decisions quickly, with agility and, above all, with reliable information, delivered in real time. To respond to both new Covid-19 protocols and changing needs, the business world understood the need to strategically adapt internal workflows as well as external interactions with their customers and partners along the supply chain

In this article, I want to highlight three key aspects that stood out among all the challenges that we’ve witnessed over the past year

1. Enterprise applications play a crucial role in supply chain continuity

In cases such as medical supplies and devices, Covid prevention products, as well as food and other vital supplies, supply chain continuity has been, and continues to be, crucial in preventing the spread of disease and enabling health care continuity. We’re currently seeing the failure to achieve this in some countries around the world

Complex supply chain processes, supported by enterprise applications such as supply chain management, ERP systems and eCommerce/ eProcurement platforms have all played a critical role in ensuring business and supply chain continuity over the past year of challenges. Preventing any rupture of the supply chain in vital areas has never been more crucial

With cloud-enabled native enterprise applications, businesses are now able to manage their required planning, coordination and administration with operational continuity and remote access. This is the case even when organizations need to execute certain physical activities (such as warehousing, or transportation) in the “physical world”, as most supply chain planning, execution, coordination, validation, and lot traceability can be managed remotely by home-based workers

2. Cloud computing is key to both business continuity, but also transformation

Our new remote way of working has proven to be feasible and effective. Remote collaboration has become intertwined with new ways of working – both within organizations but also in relation to others in the value chain

Cloud computing has demonstrated its value as a key tool for business transformation, but also business continuity by providing access to core enterprise applications and data from anywhere with an internet connection. Business continuity simply couldn’t have happened to the extent it did as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, without the support of cloud-based services. Cloud enabled enterprise applications and platforms also enable significant cost reduction, reducing IT total costs. It also provided new tools and technologies to increase business process productivity, automation, as well as reducing the carbon footprint

Implementing cloud infrastructure and enabling enterprise applications to support key company processes, takes more than simply technological empowerment; rather a change in organizational culture and processes is required

3. The rapid acceleration of digital businesses

The pandemic triggered an acceleration of digital businesses – via both increased eCommerce demand from consumers, as well as B2B digital interactions, through web-enabled supply chain platforms

Companies that have prepared their processes, their culture and people, and their supporting enterprise applications, to be resilient, sustainable, and safe, are also facing an opportunity to lead innovation and create competitive advantages for post-pandemic times. As we return to growth, those companies that invested in this transformation will be in pole position

We’re seeing how leaders are focusing on establishing sustainable models that can reduce the economic and social impact of crisis events. At the same time, we need to recognize that continuity is now a key responsibility of companies, governments and social organizations.


We are experiencing a key moment in time. It has marked a “before and after” milestone in the way we approach business transformation along with supply chain processes

This turning point will yield learnings and lessons that will promote the strategic use of supply chain applications, decision making tools, and cloud technology going forward

Establishing within any organization a sustainable model can reduce the economic and social impact of this pandemic. Ensuring sustainability is a key responsibility of companies, social organizations and governments.

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