Why Retailers are Adopting Hybrid Cloud Computing

Power Retail By Power Retail | 14 Jan 2020

Privacy is a right that everyone has – whether it’s in a store, at home or placing an order online. So what do retailers focus on most, and why are they adopting hybrid cloud computing?

A new study from Nutanix shows that retailers are ‘rapidly adopting hybrid cloud as data privacy regulations tighten’. The study found that 87.5 percent of retailers identify hybrid cloud as an ‘ideal IT operating model’. “Like other companies, retailers have aggressive plans to move away from legacy data centres in favour of hybrid cloud infrastructure, deemed the “ideal” IT operating model by ECI respondents for two years running,” the study reports.

Furthermore, 72 percent of retailers are planning to move back to ‘public cloud applications back on-premises’.

“Retailers recognise that seamless customer experience is no longer a “nice-to-have” — it’s a critical factor in winning new customers and retaining existing ones,” the report says. “… flexible cloud infrastructure is critical to delivering it.”

What do Retailers Focus on Most?

According to the study, retailers put most of their focus on agility. Unlike in the broader IT industry, where cost is the ‘top driver’, retailers ranked the ability to accelerate IT deployments (54.3 percent) as the top factor in deciding the best cloud environment for each application. The report also found that in order to adapt quickly to customer trends in an age of multichannel selling across many platforms, ‘retailers are leading the pack in maximising the flexibility of IT infrastructure to keep pace’.

Security is top of mind for retailers, Nutanix says. “Data showed that security heavily shapes retail cloud deployment plans. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63.6 percent) said security has a significant influence on their future cloud deployments, with hybrid cloud specifically identified as the most secure (32 percent). As data privacy regulations continue to tighten and expand, retailers are at the forefront of looking for ways to efficiently manage customer data securely. Hybrid cloud operating models offer the security and flexibility retailers need to stay ahead of policy changes,” a spokesperson explains in the report.

The study also states that retail leads in digital apps and IoT cloud deployments. “Always innovating to keep pace with customers’ demands, retailers outpace averages in using the public cloud to run digital applications and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. They also run their business applications more often in the public cloud than other industries, with about 11% current penetration of multiple public clouds and about 19 percent penetration of a single public cloud,” the study explains.

“Staying relevant to today’s customers means having the necessary cloud infrastructure in place to embrace omnichannel retail experiences,” says Greg Smith, VP of Product Marketing, Nutanix. “Retailers use data to connect the e-commerce and in-store shopping experiences, and the only way they can do this accurately and efficiently is through flexible, scalable technology. The rise of selling on social media platforms also means integrating payment into the user experience, bringing security and protection of customers’ data to the forefront of retailers’ minds. Hybrid cloud provides the portability and control needed to bring retailers into the new era of customer experience.”

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