The data boom in retail is upon us, and it is more crucial than ever before for retail organizations to maximize performance, security and scalability of their data management infrastructures. We’ve identified 10 reasons why retail organizations should be leveraging the cloud to achieve greater operational efficiency and improved customer experiences as a part of their transformation strategy. Explore more, and connect with our team of Azure platform experts to develop a customized Azure environment that meets your business needs.
Why Move to the Cloud?
- 1. Faster innovation: The retail world is evolving rapidly so you need IT systems that can adapt to meet fast-changing business demands. The cloud has big advantages over on-prem computing in that respect as it eliminates the time you would spend on capacity planning, procurement, or obtaining budget approval for capital expenditure associated with a traditional IT project.
- 2. Data security and reliability: The cloud infrastructure allows for a comprehensive set of deterrent, preventive and detective controls and back-up procedures to provide the highest levels of security for business and customer data.
- 3. Greater scalability: The ability to scale your IT systems on demand is one of the big advantages of cloud computing and it is particularly relevant to retailers. Your stores experience peaks and troughs in transactions depending on promotions, the time of the year and even the weather. Your IT infrastructure needs to be able to easily handle that variability, and cloud computing helps you do that cost-effectively by enabling you to contract the level of resources required for your actual usage and rapidly scale them up, if required.
- 4. Personalized customer service: The cloud helps you gain real-time access to customer data, enabling store associates to instantly pull up the sales history of a particular customer or check on the status of an order, irrespective of the channel used to place the order.
- 5. Greater insight into business performance: A retail business generates a considerable amount of data but traditionally that data has been fragmented across functional silos and different IT systems, which makes it difficult to see how well your retail business is performing. By moving to the cloud, you can tear down those IT silos and allow information to flow more smoothly throughout the organization.
- 6. Lower operational costs: With cloud computing you only pay for what you use. That can produce a big saving on operational costs because the utilization rates for in-house computer hardware are often less than 20 percent. In addition, hardware and software updates are managed by cloud service providers, which again reduces your opex budget.
- 7. Modernize eCommerce Capabilities: Optimize every point in your supply chain for greater efficiency and reduced downtime.
- 8. Better understanding of customer behavior: With the right cloud environment, retailers can connect the dots between a customer’s activity in multiple places and purchasing data to serve the hyper-personalized experience that customers have come to expect.
- 9. Deploy AI, ML & Data Services: Leverage advanced data services for right kind of insights that you can utilize for proper business action.
- 10. Don’t Give Your Money to the Competitor: The competition in retail is already fierce, don’t give your competitor an advantage by giving them your money as well!