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.
Today’s IT market is he awash with cloud services vendors. CIOs and CTOs considering their position need to ensure full due diligence to ensure that the services they do buy are fit for purpose and integrate into their business structure.
“The dominance of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure will be challenged in the future as retailers look to rationalise their cloud deployments,” said Helena Schwenk, AR and Market Insights Manager at Exasol. “Many retailers are choosing not to deploy on AWS due to potential conflicts of interest. Amazon’s acquisition of high-end natural grocer Whole Foods in 2017 and its introduction of Amazon Go stores sent shockwaves throughout the entire industry and forced retailers to rethink their cloud strategy. For example, Walmart switched from AWS to Azure, admitting that the deal was fuelled by its animosity towards Amazon.”
Retailing is moving through a transformative period of change. No one is denying the pressure that retailers – particularly in the high street are experiencing. However, as Oracle Retail’s Jeff Warren concluded, using the new tools around data analytics coupled with an IT infrastructure that is dynamic will deliver the sustainable trading environments all retailers need.
“Despite the apocalypse headlines, this is an exciting and dynamic time to be in the retail industry. Never before have retailers had access to as much data and opportunity to connect with customers directly – across a horde of channels. The cloud is enabling retailers to run their business in a dynamic and agile way, allowing them to focus more on innovation and customer satisfaction than managing the ‘pipes’ of the business. We will continue to see more retailers modernise their IT in a hybrid cloud model to ensure they have the right infrastructure for the right workloads and can continue to redefine how they do everything from predicting inventory demand to putting real-time customer intelligence in the hands of store associates.”
Ultimately, retailers need to completely transform their business’s IT infrastructure to enable them to embrace the agile working practices that today’s dynamic retail channels demand. A hybrid cloud approach is one vital component that should be on every enterprise’s development roadmap.