The global retail cloud market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 17.7% between 2019 and 2024. However, according to a recent McKinsey study, “traditional retailers, burdened by their multiple, disjointed, and hard-to-abandon legacy systems, have been slower to make the transition, although most agree that migrating workloads to the cloud is both necessary and valuable.” And according to Advance Marketing Analytics, “retailers lack the technical staff and capital for cloud transition.” This is where itopia + Google Cloud helps retailers start their journey into the cloud.
Cost is no longer a barrier. With itopia running Windows on virtual machines, retailers can continue to leverage the investments that they made in Windows-based POS, inventory, merchandising, planning, store operations, and other critical software. You are not chained to an on-prem server and desktops. And once you have tested the cloud you can try out a number of unique options without risk, such as Google Lens, AI-driven product recommendations or shopping assistants, and machine learning-powered demand forecasting.
Moving to the retail cloud also moves CapEx to OpEx to match the ebb and flow of sales. Only pay for the compute and storage needed to actively run your business, no need to leave your servers running 24/7. You can also scale your technology as your requirements rise and fall based on seasonal demand and peak sales activity. itopia makes it easy to set up automated rules that yield flexibility while minimizing your cloud costs.
The limited technical staff that most retailers employ will excel at their job. Because itopia automates over 250 complex and detailed tasks that are required to provision and manage virtual machines, retail tech employees will have far more time to focus on strategic initiatives that help improve the company. Also, there are a number of infamous stories about retailers becoming unavailable, most are due to simple human error. itopia’s automation removes the burden of manual coding of key infrastructure configurations. Remove the opportunity for data entry mistakes and you remove the likelihood of a critical system error.
Moving to the cloud also enables very creative retail strategies. Mobile point-of-sale meets the customer where they are in the store - literally. You can run a Windows desktop on any device that has a modern, secure browser, so your sales and service teams are now mobile. Customers no longer have to go to the sales counter or wait in line to find a store location with a different size, find out when the product will be back in stock, or any number of customer service questions. Your team can also reduce shrink by roaming the floor without abandoning checkout areas, as everywhere a customer browses in the store is a potential checkout station. And, if the power or internet connection goes down, you can empower your employees to use their own personal cell phones to securely access your software and continue to make sales.
As a final point, many retailers are concerned about customer privacy and data security. This is why we purpose-built itopia to work exclusively on Google Cloud. As Google points out:
“We do our part to help you protect your most sensitive data, including PII, transactions, billing, and payment card information by offering comprehensive data protection, identity management, network security, and threat detection and response capabilities. To earn your trust, we certify our products against the most rigorous global security and privacy standards like ISO 27001, ISO 27017, and ISO 27018, as well as industry-specific standards such as PCI DSS.”
There are no more reasons to delay the transition to the retail cloud. Contact itopia or your Google Cloud sales rep and learn how to get started.