In a market increasingly dominated by a few big players, and with consumers now expecting multichannel retail experiences wherever they shop, retailers are revisiting their strategy for the digital economy. Cloud infrastructures are a great enabler. Here’s how to start:
Wherever they are on their digital transformation journey, retailers acknowledge one overriding driver: the need for speed. The cloud provides a great place for no-risk experimenting with new ideas and services (such as robotic sales agents). The ideas that work can be quickly rolled out, simply by scaling up cloud capacity and performance, and the experiments that fall flat can be quietly retired without having to write off a major upfront investment.
Few established retailers with traditional infrastructures are equipped to capitalize on the opportunities of insight-driven decision making with data analytics. A shift to the cloud is the first step. With a cloud environment, retailers have far greater capacity at their disposal to collect and store huge volumes of data, and mine insights from that data using analytics. For instance, in a multichannel environment, data analytics tells retailers which promotions are working, and where – and also enables them to predict, using AI, what’s likely to sell.
With cloud services, retailers can easily adopt as-a-service models to unlock cloud flexibility for their business. A hybrid cloud environment gives enterprises the power to blend on-premise computing with managed services delivered out of the cloud. Flexibility is provided by a change in the way applications are developed: instead of a single, unwieldly entity, large apps are built in the cloud as a suite of microservices that can be individually adapted and combined – while sensitive information remains on-premise in the company’s private infrastructure.
Cloud infrastructures break the dependency on legacy, DIY platforms – and give retailers access to the kind of insights and control that would be out of reach with an on-premise, DIY approach to IT. Retailers gain access to a range of purpose-built collaborative platforms to improve business processes and seamlessly manage online and storefront presences, track and manage inventories and deliveries across all locations, and collect and measure store metrics.
With Cognizant, retailers can easily adopt as-a-service models to unlock cloud flexibility for their business. To find out more, visit Cognizant Cloud Services.