The retail industry has been one of the torch-bearers when it comes to technology adoption. One of the major reasons for this has been, simply, that consumers have embraced technology and today expect retailers to provide them with a seamless, personalized and convenient shopping experience across channels, devices and geographies. As a result, retail CEOs are pulling all stops to ensure that their organizations effective navigate their way through a digital transformation.
According to survey data derived from Microsoft’s Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT) last year, retailers have expanded their use of technology to manage supply chains, operate web services and self-service portals, and deploy customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that can address their customers’ needs.
The survey also finds that:
“For many, the increasing complexity of managing IT security is a strong rationale for adopting cloud computing. A reputable cloud service provider (CSP) can help keep an organization’s business systems running efficiently while deploying safer, more secure computing practices.
Adopting cloud computing can help retailers mitigate the risk of data breaches. Qualified CSPs will typically offer tested disaster recovery and incident response programs, which can help ensure that breaches are managed effectively and quickly.”
Besides, retailers can accrue several other benefits from adopting the cloud:
A single version of the truth: A centralized repository ensures that all stakeholders see the most current data at all times irrespective of their device and location.
Ability to scale: Retailers can scale their infrastructure dynamically during busy shopping seasons, sales etc. (Eg: Thanksgiving in the US)
Better customer experience through analytics: Personalized offerings, predictive analytics etc. are all possible with data on the cloud.
Thanks to these advantages, the retail cloud market is expected to more than triple from $4.2 billion in 2011 to $15.1 billion in 2015, according to an Accenture estimate from 2013.