The retail industry is ever changing and fast paced. Managers and owners can’t always be at a store, and therefore need reliable services and support. That’s where cloud services come in. The benefits of hybrid cloud services in retail industries include greater visibility, better communication, improved customer service, security and reliability, and the tools to allow you to focus on creativity.
What Is a Hybrid Cloud?
There are a few different types of cloud services, and the hybrid cloud brings them all together, offering an industry that includes the best of all cloud services. It usually consists of an onsite infrastructure, the public cloud, and a private cloud service.
For businesses such as retail, the need for agility is essential. In retail, change and an ability to evolve quickly, happen daily. The hybrid method creates greater flexibility as compared to when only one cloud service is used. That flexibility leads to greater reliability in the retail industry.
The Benefits of a Cloud Service
With the use of cloud technology, retailers gain several benefits. Let’s look at what those are.
Improvement of Customer Service
Customer service is everything in business. If service isn’t excellent, you risk losing customers. When implementing cloud services, a retail business can seek insight from customers as to what they’d like to see in customer service. As you find out what’s working and see changes that are necessary, the flexibility of the hybrid cloud service makes those changes easier to create and maintain.
Improve the Supply Chain
Improve the visibility of your supply chain with point-of-sale (POS) systems through the hybrid cloud. Imagine checking on your stock items from literally anywhere. That’s what the cloud offers: constant visibility and accessibility.
What is business without sufficient communication? Using cloud services is the best way to gain easy communication between staff, customers, and any other area of the organization. The cloud is known for making collaboration and communication simple and accessible. Using the hybrid cloud offers even more flexibility and choices for communication. When customers need help, your staff can quickly find solutions because all data is safely stored in one place.
Easily share inventory and stock needs with outside sources who are part of your network. The best part is that all this can be done from any device and location.
Gain Greater Business Insights
Without the cloud, business data is scattered across many IT services. When using the cloud, however, all data is in one place and eliminates the need for so much IT. This makes it easier to analyze your data and optimize it so you are getting everything you can from the service and not paying for or wasting time on unnecessary software and services. Understanding a company’s performance is critical for success.
Increase Security and Reliability
It only makes sense that in the retail business you demand and expect excellent service for data storage and the highest of security to protect that data. Lost data is a nightmare and a breach in security is dangerous to the company.
With a cloud service, you gain around the clock customer service and security every day of the week. While you take time off, the data is still secure. The cloud network offers high-level security and immediate backup so data is never lost.
New Product Creation
In retail, as you listen to customers, you hear and see what they want. A cloud service helps to make those new creations happen. Thanks to data analytics which are easily analyzed with the cloud, it’s easy to see what’s selling and what isn’t.
The cloud also offers tools needed so an enterprise isn’t investing more money in tools for maintenance and creation. Create the new products you need to stay ahead of your competition.
Choosing the Right Cloud Service
We’ve discussed the benefits of hybrid cloud services for retail industries. Now let’s break it down further to see the differences between each cloud service. We’ll look at public, private, and hybrid options.
The public cloud consists of a distributed center data infrastructure, and when you go with public, you’re basically renting a part of that infrastructure. The public cloud has its pros and cons. Let’s discuss the pros first.
- Excellent scalability with unlimited resources through the cloud.
- Low cost for a company. It’s public and often pay as you go. No infrastructure is needed onsite and very little hardware.
- Reliability is good since data is scattered around many data centers.
Here is a con of a public cloud service:
- Although security is good, you have no control over it.
With a private cloud, an infrastructure is dedicated to only your data, either onsite or in a data center. This gives you more control over the service and enables you to manage the cloud yourself (as a company) or hire a service to do so. Here are the pros of a private cloud service:
- The private cloud is an excellent choice when storing sensitive data. Only those with access can see and retrieve information.
- The private cloud greatly increases security and gives the company control as to how it’s managed.
- Choose your company’s preferences and optimize the private cloud accordingly.
- Very flexible, allowing a company to quickly transfer data to a public cloud should the need arise.
Cons of the private cloud include:
- Higher cost because of the need for equipment.
- The company has full responsibility for all data stored, as well as security and compliance needs, IT hardware, and all software.
- Flexibility isn’t as simple in the private cloud.
The best part of the hybrid cloud is that an enterprise doesn’t have to choose between public and private; they gain both. The public, private, and onsite infrastructure all work together. That means the best of both worlds: excellent security, scalability, low cost, reliability, and impressive flexibility.
In conclusion, the retail industry benefits greatly from a hybrid cloud service. Keep your data visible, accessible, reliable, and secure.
At Atmosera, we offer Azure managed cloud services for your retail enterprise needs. Contact us and let’s discuss how Azure solutions can improve the efficiency of your business and relieve management of the task of data storage and security.