When considering the most appropriate operating system and the preferable basis for running your critical services, the starting point should always be the specific priorities of your business.
Within the logistics industry, research shows that the top priorities among decision makers tend to be “meeting customer expectations” (especially when it comes to transparency and order tracking), followed closely by “on-time delivery”.In an ideal world, your IT infrastructure will be capable of enabling your people to deliver a seamless service, while providing customers with a first class user experience – including the ability to keep track of what is happening on the ground. So how might Linux help you build this?
1. Build your own solution
Your customers have an extensive wish-list. They demand full transparency throughout the lifecycle of a contract, along with the flexibility to change orders at short notice. To provide all of this – as well as to differentiate your offering from the competition – you may conclude that the best way forward involves building your own software, tailored to your specific way of operating.
As the world’s most popular development platform, Linux is the ideal tool for this. It contains thousands of pounds worth of development software free of charge.
It’s possible, of course, to run a secure MS Windows-based network with the help of firewalls and frequent and regular anti-virus scanning. However, with its long history of multi-user design and its mostly modular design, Linux systems tend to be strongly resistant to security breaches; you’ll find that trojans, viruses and other forms of malware attacks are extremely rare on Linux systems.
Especially relevant to logistics businesses where staff are scattered, security-wise, Linux servers are ideal for distributed non-local administration.
3. Scalability and dealing with a scattered workforce
You are dealing with multiple users on the road – along with an array of delivery centres. With the Windows file system, distributing large files between multiple devices can be a difficult process. With Linux, it becomes possible to link multiple individual computers together to form superclusters.
4. Ensuring uptime and stability
For customers and staff alike, 24/7 uptime is critical – especially for avoiding the type of situation where an outage at the wrong time leads to a missed delivery, along with any contractual implications that might have.
Windows has certainly improved in terms of stability with recent updates. But the beauty of Linux rests with its modular architecture; each application running on a Linux system operates independently of the rest of the system. This contrasts with Windows, where everything operates in a monolithic block. It means that with Linux, there is less likelihood of a single hardware driver or application fault triggering a complete system crash.
5. Cost: keeping overheads to a minimum
Agility and the ability to scale up (or down) operations with the minimum of cost and disruption are key priorities for most logistics businesses. Here, the open source, free distribution nature of Linux has obvious advantages. It becomes especially relevant where company expansion is on the cards; a purely Linux system can mean avoiding extra costs on multiple user license agreements.
Running your logistics business on Linux can mean it becomes easier and more cost effective to create precisely the type of IT environment your require to maintain your competitive edge.