Why the hybrid cloud is the future of retailing

cloud future of retail

The cloud has transformed retail businesses. Enterprises are now leveraging the hybrid cloud to transform their internal data processes and also deliver the next-generation services that the omnichannel now demands.

Over the past decade, the retail landscape has transformed. Today consumers have mobile access to retailers via multiple channels, which all need to be supported, as consumers now demand an integrated, flexible, dynamic and secure, shopping experience. Using hybrid cloud services is one vital component of the armoury retailers must use to ensure they are fully supporting their customers.

The challenge facing retailers is the speed at which change has taken place across their markets. The enormous success of e-commerce will pale when compared to the massive growth that m-commerce will see, aided by the 5G network rolling out over the next few years.

David Gruehn, Global Industry Principal, Retail, SAP CX, told Silicon: “5G is more than just a better connection. It’s a better connector,” said Michael Koziol, CEO at Huge, a global strategy, design and innovation firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. “The adoption of 5G technology will create a contextual reset around what it means to be connected and, give rise to entirely new interaction, relationship and business models. When combined with a hybrid cloud, 5G offers tremendous potential for retailers to include high-quality data capture and processing in near–real time. The ability to react and capture intelligence, live and on the fly; the ability to provide a user experience well beyond an omnichannel expectation, and a true blending of the best of digital and physical commerce.”

Retailers have been embracing the massive potential of cloud services over the last few years, as hosted platforms have become available to help them run components of their businesses. Today, however, retailers realise that the public cloud alone can’t deliver the secure and integrated services they need to power their businesses into the future. Here, a hybrid cloud architecture is vital.

Indeed, the current research from Nutanix concludes: “There is 15% public cloud usage in the retail industry compared to a 12% global average; and usage is set to grow to 22% in the next two years, outpacing the global cross-industry average by an even wider margin of seven per cent. Yet the higher than average percentage of retailers who say that hybrid cloud is the ideal IT deployment model (93%) also indicates that public cloud is not a panacea for the retail industry.”

A hybrid cloud approach to the back office and customer-facing systems and services is now vital to ensure retailers remain relevant to their customers and, can deliver the services they demand. For CIOs and CTOs, embracing a hybrid approach to their IT needs delivers flexible platforms, they can build their business upon as they mature their use of digitisation.

“Retailers must be agile in responding to the evolving demands of the customer while ensuring security and efficiency,” Neill Hart, Head of Productivity and Programs at CSI told Silicon. “In the face of increased and diverse competition, technology-driven innovation must provide high levels of scalability, performance and availability while maintaining control over cost and compliance. With cloud-based services, retailers can scale operations fast without the overhead of traditional IT infrastructure. This supports rapid and efficient expansion into new markets as well as reacting to changing market conditions.”

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