Brick and mortar store closings are accelerating at a frightening pace (some analysts predict it may reach 12,000 stores by the end of this year!).
It’s clear that retailers must not only reframe the physical store experience, they must also embrace cloud adoption to be able deliver the highly immersive, entertaining, omni-channel experience customers now expect both online and within stores.
By taking advantage of IoT (Internet of Things), retailers are able to reduce inventory error, optimize their supply chain management, and decrease labor costs.
IoT can also help traditional brick-and-mortar stores compete with today’s online-first shopping by dramatically improving customer experience and decreasing unnecessary expenses.
How Cloud Adoption Can Benefit Retail
Recently at VMworld in San Francisco, I attended an excellent panel discussion which brought several leading VMware and retail industry IT experts together to discuss how modernizing their IT and cloud adoption has benefited their business.
From both the panelists’ comments and ad hoc audience polls, it was apparent that 20% of the retail industry’s leaders are ahead of the game, transforming their IT infrastructure so they can be faster, smarter, and bolder and able to meet consumer expectations. Yet estimates show 70% are just getting started, and 10% haven’t even begun their journey.
Here are a couple of the ways retailers on the panel demonstrated how a strong, agile IT foundation drives innovation and improves the retail customer experience:
As retail IT experts ramp up to take advantage of the cloud and address the rise of digital transformation, they must think carefully about where they’ll run workloads.
In this new hybrid era of computing in which applications are distributed across multiple hosting sites, including local data centers, one or more cloud providers, as well as the data centers and cloud providers used by solution partners, every decision will have an impact on overall cost, performance and agility.
To make good business decisions, IT needs to establish a technological foundation for cloud computing. This requires full access to all their technology and business data in one view and in actionable format; it must be accurate, comprehensive, current, and normalized.
Retailers that are winning the day are acutely aware of how IT strategy and execution have the potential to directly impact the customer experience and the bottom line.
Successful retailers also understand that accelerating their cloud transformation journey is the best solution for keeping up with customer demands while keeping flexibility, security, and costs in line.