Today’s consumers are tech-savvy, knowledgeable and demanding. They research and buy products in multiple channels; they are used to the speedy service and personalized interaction that online pure-plays like Amazon offer; and they expect all companies they do businesses with to keep up with the times.
In order to give consumers the seamless shopping experiences they demand, retailers must be able to react, anticipate, and innovate rapidly. They must have access to a centralized, up-to-date database of their customers’ preferences, past purchases and interactions. They must have the resources to tackle new trends and needs quickly. And they must maintain latest-technology systems that enable them to respond instantly to shifting consumer demands.
The cloud has emerged as one of the most effective new technologies to deliver the speed and flexibility businesses require to stay competitive in the fast-paced retail landscape.
Cloud computing makes it possible for users to access data, services, storage and software over the internet (the “cloud”).
Moving IT capabilities to the cloud has numerous business advantages for retailers. The cloud removes the need to purchase costly hardware, such as storage and servers. It leaves retailers free to focus on running their business instead of managing their IT, as the storage and software provider take care of ensuring that all systems are up-to-date and functional. In the cloud, new solutions can be deployed without having to make large upfront investments. The cloud also increases flexibility, as it enables users to work from anywhere.
The cloud is a popular choice for businesses looking for a competitive edge – but not the most popular.
The hybrid cloud model – combining a mix of on-premises and cloud-based applications in the same IT environment – is emerging as the preferred choice for businesses. Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, cloud usage will mostly be hybrid.
A hybrid strategy allows you to remain competitive in a quickly evolving business landscape, unlocking new capabilities quickly through the cloud, while at the same time preserving your core data and previous investments on-premises.
Get the most out of your existing capabilities, and develop new ones in a cost-effective way. With a hybrid cloud model, you can select which IT solutions you want to keep on-premises, maximizing the ROI of previous investments, and which services should be deployed as SaaS (software as a service), cloud-based solutions licensed on subscription basis and requiring little to no upfront investment.
Take advantage of the innovation taking place in the cloud while keeping your data safe. Today, the cloud enables almost any business to improve their customer service and personalized marketing with innovative yet affordable technology such as advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. With a hybrid strategy you can get the best of both worlds, leveraging new technology in the cloud while maintaining control over your data and assets.
Create more effective and engaging customer experiences. With a hybrid model, you can safely maintain your customers‘ information in a data center, and use the cloud to enable associates in different locations to access real-time information. In the cloud, the information can also be aggregated and run through innovative services to identify patters, create correlations, make predictions and create personalized interactions.
We are working on ensuring that all existing and future LS Retail solutions will work seamlessly with Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s – and our – cloud platform. We want to make the transition to the cloud smooth and easy. At the same time, we also believe you should be able to choose how, and to what extent, you want to rely on cloud-based services.
A hybrid model makes the crossover to the cloud easier, while maximizing your flexibility. It allows you to leverage the cloud even if you can’t depend on stable network connection, or would rather adopt a cautious approach. And it enables you to use your established ecosystem to the maximum, protecting your past investment.
Learn what our plan moving forward is, where our software solutions are heading and why, and what we expect from the future of technology in retail and hospitality.