Today s consumer expects a seamless omnichannel shopping experience in store, online and through new avenues such as mobile, in-app or even smart TV purchases. At the same time, retailers need to collect, analyse and keep data secure. This pressure to keep ahead of customer expectations is driving retailers to deploy innovative IT practices faster than ever.
Recently, enterprise cloud computing firm Nutanix announced the retail findings of its Enterprise Cloud Index Report, measuring retailers plans for adopting private, hybrid and public clouds. The report revealed enterprise workloads are quickly moving off traditional data centre infrastructure, dropping from 41% today to just 18% in two years time, as cloud usage accelerates. The retail industry has the second largest penetration of hybrid cloud deployments at 21%; with 93% identifying hybrid cloud as the ideal IT model, outpacing the global average for other industries.
It may not be a surprise that retailers are also embracing public clouds more quickly than their counterparts in other industries, yet their control of public cloud spend is better than peers in other industries. Today, there is 15% public cloud usage in the retail industry compared to 12% global average; and usage is set to grow to 22% in the next two years, outpacing the global cross-industry average by an even wider margin of 7%. Yet, the higher than average percentage of retailers who say that hybrid cloud is the ideal IT deployment model (93%) also indicates that public cloud is not a panacea for the retail industry. For retailers, having the flexibility to choose the right cloud for each application appeared most often as the benefit for deploying hybrid cloud (at 18%) followed closely by using cloud on the fly to support periods of high traffic loads.
Indian retailers are racing to redesign their IT infrastructure as they seek to redefine their businesses, said Neville Vincent, vice-president, A/NZ, Asean and India, Nutanix. Customer service is now giving way to customer experience and it is technology (hybrid solutions) that is (are) driving the change. Infrastructure design has become a critical aspect of maximising the value of data and the customer journey. Traditional hardware is simply not fit for purpose a fact that has not escaped the industry s attention.