Cloud computing: Shipping companies must trust their IT partners


As more companies in the shipping, transport and logistics sectors look to offset rising costs through the use of cloud computing, trust remains an important issue if they are to have faith in this technology and those providing it – this according to cloud specialist Node4, which claims for a company to gain the operational benefits of outsourcing their IT, they must be fully aware of the service they are receiving, and have control over each element of it. But unfortunately, this isn’t a mantra which all IT providers subscribe to and Paul Bryce, Business Development Director at Node4, has warned that a service mismatch can prevail if IT service levels are inadequate.

“Before signing up to any supply contract, it is essential that a user finds out not just what service levels are being offered, but also how the provider is proposing to deliver them, and most importantly of all, what will happen in case of a failure,” Mr Bryce said. “It is paramount that users should receive the levels of service their businesses require and be fully informed about what that entails. The fact that some suppliers aren’t open about their service in this way is wholly unacceptable and will lead to a service mismatch, which in many cases can be damaging for companies in the transport and logistics sector.”

Node4’s cloud platform, n4Cloud makes use of the n4Portal which give users, including resellers, the ability to manage and administer various parts of their service. It gives them continual visibility of their cloud service and grants the flexibility to engage each component when necessary. Node4 believes this approach is an integral part of offering a transparent product.

Mr Bryce added: “What we see happening in the cloud is a more bespoke or hybrid approach to how it’s adopted by businesses. Because of this, it’s more important than ever before that customers are aware of what they are paying for, enabling them to continually assess their costs and level of service. Our n4Portal is just one way of helping our customers to do that but when their business needs change, companies should be able to make the relevant changes to their IT to reflect this.”