Retail & Distribution

Why Cloud Computing is the Only Option for Retail

30 June 2022

3 min
Cloud computing is the only option for retailers competing in a market that has changed forever, and continues to transform, as our expert panel revealed at Cegid’s global user conference, Cegid Connections Retail 2022. The panel, featuring both retailers and technologists, comes at a perfect time as retailers look to make serious decisions about how to host and run their business-critical applications. Sud Express, the women’s wear retailer with 150 stores and expanding digital operations, knows that its ability to compete in a tough market depends on data and the ability to exploit it quickly, even to the extent of predicting what may be coming next.

The Cloud understands that need perfectly, using a network of content and services with the flexibility to meet both global as well as local needs, backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning to constantly monitor the situation in any scenario so retailers can act immediately.


Cloud computing driving innovation in retail

It is therefore the Cloud that is driving innovation in retail. This could be something as large as reading total global demand in order to make quicker decisions about ordering and replenishment, or as small as reading live customer traffic feeds from cameras in an individual store in order to alter layouts to put stock in the best possible place.

It’s all about agility and both the Cloud and Retail seem perfectly suited when comparing capability with need. Sud Express says that it needs this agility in order to make quicker decisions about opening new stores, onboarding staff or expanding into new territories.

And to be able to do all this securely, is always a major concern among retailers, from two points of view – the vulnerability of systems to external attack, a problem that has reached new heights in recent years, and the limits on the ability of a retailer’s own staff to fix problems themselves. Microsoft points out that security is part of the pitch for the Cloud and, responding to the fact that most security problems are down to human error, has developed a more secure system, which is an extra layer of protection called two factor used to ensure the security of online accounts beyond just a username and password.

A convincing business case, but that’s not to say that there is no resistance to switching to the Cloud; Sud Express knows that some people do not like change but the Cloud proved its worth during the strikes before the first lockdown so the company had the chance to show that onboarding multiple devices used by staff working from home could be done quickly. Resistance was effectively dealt with because staff could see how the Cloud was giving them greater flexibility and expanded capability.


Cloud computing enabling the next generation of retail

In fact, Cloud providers point out that it is this flexibility that is helping to support the newer hybrid retail models, based on a greater blending of digital and physical, to enable a better experience for customers but also greater convenience for retailers. This is because they can manage the business from anywhere, both on and offline.

This is home territory for Cegid which is giving retailers confidence by building the applications that will create the new value chain, run by the Cloud. Moreover, as Sud Express pointed out, most of the newer apps that it needs to run its systems in the new value chain are all in the Cloud, so only by being in the Cloud can it take advantage of them.

The panel agreed, it is the Cloud computing that is enabling the next generation of retail as well as equipping the people who work in the industry to excel.

You can watch the Cegid Retail Connections 2022 Closing Keynote here:

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