In today’s digital era, cloud computing boosts the power of the internet and provides business with a competitive edge. According to IDC, cloud computing expenses are expected to increase at 6X rates through 2020. And as per Forbes, 83% of data of enterprises will be in the cloud by 2020.
Cloud Computing has revolutionized the ways we connect with each other. It is rapidly becoming a new norm for industries like the retail sector. By implementing cloud computing, retail businesses can improve the value of their work and reduce cost overheads. From enhanced security and managerial control of data, to ease of use, and better agility, cloud-based tools can bring your business to the next level.
In fact, by switching to a cloud environment, your business can take benefits of:
- File access anywhere online
- Secure data backups
- Real-time communication
- Business intelligence and much more
But before going further to the reasons for cloud computing implementation in your retail business, first understand what cloud computing actually means?
What is Cloud Computing?
In a simple term, cloud computing means you can save and access data and programs over the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. Dropbox, Google Drive, Office Online, and Apple icloud are common cloud examples.
Retail businesses have identified the immense value potential using cloud. It is no wonder that the retail industry is ramping up investments in cloud technology. Accenture reports that investments into cloud technology by retail industry have jumped from $4 billion in 2011 to $15 billion in 2016.
What advantages does cloud offer to the retail sector?
There are many reasons cloud computing is useful for retail businesses. Let’s have a look at one by one.
Lower Costs and Higher Efficiency
- If you have your retail business and you are not using cloud computing services then you are out of step with current market trends.
- Cloud computing can provide improved and seamless channel operations. It can simplify the systems and deliver more personalized customer experience through personalized interaction.
Higher Supply Chain Visibility
- Due to cloud computing, every part of the business can connect with each other. It offers greater supply chain visibility.
- Cloud computing helps retailers to capture the real-time status of consignments and digitized documents from dealer, brokers, and carriers.
Secure and Reliable
- Data which is stored in the cloud is much more secure than stored locally on your own servers. Security and reliability are actually the main requirements of any retail business.
- By using a complete set of restraint, defensive and detective controls, and back-up processes, data stored in the cloud can offer the top-most level of security.
- Your server is the heart of your business and it should not go down. With cloud computing, you don’t have to worry about server downtime.
- Cloud computing provides 24*7*365 monitoring. That’s why you will get the instantaneous notifications and you don’t have to wait for someone to come and solve the issue till next morning.
Greater Merchandise Decisions
- Using cloud computing and Big Data you can get meaningful insights about your clients’ preferences.
- You can easily do the analysis of your customer’s buying tendency and can make a decision on what to stock and what not, how to promote and how to stocks. It also reduces the time to market for retail goods.
- Every business person aims to grow his/her business. As your business grows, your server requirements also grow.
- If you have a cloud platform then you don’t have to worry about upgrading your internal server.
Automatic Data Back-up
- Many times we actually forget to back up our data. That same can apply to our employees also.
- If you have a cloud server then you don’t have to do a manual data backup. You just have to set time for automatic data backup at regular intervals. So just set the time and forget it.
- In a retail business, cloud powers the teams to access and share data and documents irrespective of the time or place. This leads to a tremendous productivity boost.
- Cloud-based file sharing apps and project management solutions lets the teams make updates in real-time without any delay. This enables faster time to market in overall product development.
You can use cloud computing services as your business development techniques. To speed up the cash flow, develop the better relationship with clientele, to create the strong brand position in the market, lessen the cost, and make available combined, flexible environment for teams cloud migration is very important to incorporate into your retail business.
Ashwin Patil is a passionate content marketer who writes on technology, tech trends, tech reviews. Also, I work with people, organizations and the community to deliver solutions which are driven by Big Data, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Deep Learning & Artificial Intelligence.