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Retail IT Managers Believe the Future is in the Cloud

IT  managers in retail businesses are overwhelmingly in favor of  a cloud-based platform as it enables them to implement new technologies faster. A massive 98% of IT managers think the IT function is the department within a retail organization that benefits most from adopting the cloud, according to RSR Research.

The finding contradicts the traditional idea that IT staff are reluctant to adopt cloud computing. This opposition was well entrenched at the beginning of the cloud computing era, when IT managers feared that the shift to cloud-based systems would diminish their role and undermine power in an organization, perhaps leading to IT job losses.

Fears unfounded

Source: RSR Research
Source: RSR Research

But a decade on, it seems that IT managers in retail business are heavily in favor of the cloud. The traditional excuses for not moving to the cloud, such as data security or lack of customization, have  proved unfounded.

There are many benefits in retail businesses moving to the cloud.  One that is clearly becoming more important in today’s fast-changing industry is the need to implement new technologies faster and so overcome the bottlenecks of  traditional in-house application development.

IT managers in retail organizations now overwhelmingly recognize that the maturity of the Software-as-a-Service model means that there is not much sense in developing and delivering  applications  themselves. The research firm says:

“While there is resistance within the IT groups to give up control, the reality is, they need to support the business, and they hope cloud will help them do it.”

The needs of retailers are diverse and specialized, so IT managers in this sector would often choose to develop bespoke applications designed for their own requirements.  But these projects frequently did not deliver the expected results, cost too much or simply took too long.

Rich retail-specific functionality

Modern  cloud-based platforms such as Openbravo Commerce Cloud mean that retail  IT managers do not need to develop their own software or buy servers to support their business. Instead,  they can access a deep and broad set of retail-specific functionalities  in the cloud from any device running a browser.

As well as core  capabilities covering POS, merchandising and store management, Openbravo Commerce Cloud supports specialized retail functions in areas such as  inventory planning or warehouse management.

A handful of retailers are holding out as they believe they can justify developing specialized software in-house. For example, Dicks Sporting Goods, the largest sporting goods retailer in the US,  is betting that building its inventory tracking and other software in-house rather than using commercial offerings will  give it a competitive advantage.

Only time will tell, of course. But  if it its ambitious IT project does go off course, then perhaps Dicks Sporting Goods should check out Openbravo’s solution  for sporting goods retailers!

To find out more about how Openbravo Commerce Cloud can help sporting goods retailers, watch our on-demand webinar, “Ready for the Omnichannel Challenge in Multi-brand Sports Retailing?”

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