Top 3 IT investment priorities for retailers to succeed in today’s new consumer age: Cloud (2/3)
My last blogpost about Mobility was the first one of a series of three to explain Openbravo’s take on the main 3 IT priorities for retailers identified in this study. Today I am elaborating on the second one in the list: Cloud computing.
Cloud is a disruptive technology for all businesses in all industries, it is transforming how companies invest and manage their IT assets. This is especially relevant for retailers who need to embrace technology that will allow them to react faster and be more flexible to succeed in today’s super-empowered consumer age.
As our study has revealed, 68% of retail executives plan to adopt cloud technologies into their business strategies and operations. With higher confidence in business benefits and an increasingly proven security, it is not difficult to think that these numbers will continue to grow.
The financial advantages of the cloud, primarily the ability to move capital to operating expenses, may initially drive cloud adoption for many retailers, but there are more benefits and they are commonly related to IT efficiency, IT agility and business innovation.
For a more detailed explanation about its benefits and challenges let me share with you two very interesting documents, Leveraging the Cloud from RIS and Methods and Practices: Cloud in Retail from IDC. Based on these some benefits that can be mentioned:
- Higher business agility: the cloud provides IT departments with the ability to provision and deliver solutions faster which is very attractive to retailers facing common seasonal situations that require constant capacity adjustments. Faster time to market is also achieved making, for example, geographic expansion easier, without the expense of developing traditional IT infrastructure.
- Lower cost: the cloud provides more attractive pricing models compared with traditional offerings. Cost efficiency is also improved since cloud adoption allows to reduce idle time for IT assets
- Better integration capabilities: The cloud offers unique opportunities for integration given that the information is more easily accessible from other solutions and in a highly secure way.
- Leverage other technologies to further improve business outcomes: in combination with mobile, social, and analytics technologies, cloud platforms will continue to add agility, efficiency, and cost savings to projects while enabling options that are not otherwise viable.
What do you think? As a retailer, what is your experience with cloud technologies? Are you considering it for your IT strategy?