the cloud
TECHNOLOGY

Study: Retail IT forecast looks cloudy

BY Dan Berthiaume

A vast majority of retailers are interested in cloud computing, according to a new study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of SAP.

The study, “Emerging Opportunities to Deploy Industry Processes in the Cloud,” shows that 87% of 135 retail decision-makers polled across nine countries in July 2018 understand the importance of cloud software. However, not all retailers are equally engaged in actual digital transformation activities that could be enhanced by implementing cloud-based solutions.

Study results indicate that retailers who focus on digital priorities such as customer-centricity and digital consumer supply chain are much further along in implementing digital technology than retailers who do not prioritize a similar approach. Eighty-one percent of digitally-focused retailers have started or completed their digital transformation, compared to 55% of other retailers. Furthermore, digitally-focused retailers plan to continue investing in customer engagement, marketing, sales, commerce, supply chain and merchandising solutions.

“Retailers seeking to better understand and connect with their customers, suppliers and partners are uniquely positioned to take advantage of industry cloud solutions,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, co-president of SAP Industries. “This study finds that retailers see cloud as a key enabler for their digital priorities and are willing to invest more in the cloud to support business processes like infrastructure, research and development, as well as commerce and sales. Such a shift not only launches retailers on a needed intelligent enterprise journey but also improves business satisfaction.”

Digitally-focused retailers are leveraging a mix of technologies to help achieve transformation goals. These respondents see the Internet of Things (88%), real-time analytics (86%) and machine learning (84%) as their preferred transformation technology. Nine in 10 (92%) say that moving end-to-end processes or business processes to an industry cloud would have a notable improvement on their ability to digitally transform their whole ecosystem. In addition, 93% see increased business satisfaction through cloud integration with their ecosystem.

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