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How Cloud Computing Benefits the Retail Sector Featured

How Cloud Computing Benefits the Retail Sector turned-on monitor

The popularity of cloud computing is primarily due to the advantages it provides over traditional information technology (IT) solutions. Companies in a wide variety of industries make use of cloud computing to compete more effectively with their market rivals. In many cases, organizations are not able to replicate the technological solutions available in the cloud with an on-premises computing environment.

Retail businesses are in an extremely competitive market sector. Profit margins can be slim and operational disruptions can quickly lead to lost customers. In the age of ecommerce, retail companies need to deploy reliable technology that meets customer expectations. 

Cloud computing offers some specific benefits to companies operating in the retail sector.  

Access to technical resources

Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have limited resources to devote to their IT environment. Taking advantage of cloud services enables companies to leverage the manpower available from a cloud vendor. This alleviates the expense of in-house training and provides the company with extended technical capabilities. 

Advanced analytics 

Cloud providers offer advanced analytics applications powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that are beyond the reach of most retailers’ IT environments. The information available from these apps can help identify and exploit emerging customer trends ahead of the competition.  

Flexibility and agility

Engaging cloud services furnishes a retail business with the flexibility and agility to capitalize on the market trends identified through analytics. Companies can adopt new technologies without capital expenditures and quickly meet evolving customer demands. 

Supply chain visibility

Cloud services can improve the supply chain visibility that is essential for a successful retail business. Companies can optimize inventory and ensure they always have the products to serve their customers.  

Developing an enhanced customer experience

The customer experience is vitally important in the crowded ecommerce landscape. A combination of the previous four benefits enables a retailer to develop an enhanced customer experience and differentiate themselves from the competition.  

Cost savings

Retail businesses can enjoy substantial cost savings by eliminating on-premises data centers and moving their workloads to the cloud. These savings can be used more productively for projects such as developing new products for consumers. 

Improved internal and external communication

Cloud applications can be accessed through an Internet connection, enabling employees to connect to business systems from anywhere. Customer-facing applications can take advantage of the cloud provider’s versatility and introduce mobile solutions to reach a larger audience. 

Security

Retail businesses need to be concerned with the security of the sensitive customer data they store. The experience and technical resources of a reliable cloud provider can implement best practices to strengthen a retail company’s security posture.  

Scalability

The goal of most retailers is to grow their business and reach more customers. Cloud resources are scalable so companies can add capacity when needed to address growth and scale back to save money when necessary.  

Retailers can benefit from migrating current workloads to the cloud or by adopting new cloud services to address specific needs and opportunities. Failure to look into what the cloud offers may result in a business watching its competitors dominate the market. 

 

 

 

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 Robert Agar

I am a freelance writer who graduated from Pace University in New York with a Computer Science degree in 1992. Over the course of a long IT career I have worked for a number of large service providers in a variety of roles revolving around data storage and protection. I currently reside in northeastern Pennsylvania where I write from my home office.

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