When it comes to selling online, many of the most successful retailers take advantage of enterprise cloud computing solutions. Cloud computing allows businesses to store, manage, and process data on a remote server rather than on local machines. For e-commerce retailers, this means freeing up resources in-house and outsourcing services to save money and improve efficiency, with the ultimate goal of increasing revenue and boosting customer service. There are many benefits to enterprise cloud computing solutions in the e-commerce marketplace; here are just a few.
Speed and Responsiveness
According to an article in Forbes, “a new on-site data center can take a year to build.” E-retailers don’t have time to wait around while a data center is completed; they need solutions for storing and managing data right now. With cloud computing, this becomes much easier. That’s because the cloud partner provides the infrastructure that the e-commerce site can use immediately in order to capture valuable customer data, insights, and other analytics that power decision-making and strategic goals. There’s simply no comparison when it comes to an on-site system in terms of speed and responsiveness in the digital retail environment.
Savings on Overhead
One of the big advantages that e-commerce retailers have over traditional brick-and-mortar retailers is that they can run a much more cost-effective business because they don’t have all the overhead expenses that a traditional retailer has with physical shops and showrooms. E-commerce retailers can capitalize on this advantage even further with the use of cloud computing and in particular the power of a hypervisor.
It’s no secret to brick-and-mortar retailers that they have to work extra hard to keep up with their online e-commerce counterparts. An article in Wired cited the statistic that “the retail industry devotes only about 1.7% of revenue to IT.”That’s a truly small percentage relative to other industries, and the article goes on to say that “e-commerce competitors continue to use technology as a means to win on price and selection.” Traditional retailers are struggling to fight the trend known as “showrooming,” in which customers shop in physical spaces but ultimately purchase online.
Intuitive and Virtual
At the heart of cloud computing is what is known as virtualization. This technology allows for virtual machines, or VMs, to scale computing power by running multiple copies of different operating systems or applications on the physical computer. It’s like expanding one physical machine into a multitude of virtual machines, thereby multiplying computing power. There’s a virtual machine monitor, called a hypervisor, that creates and runs the VMs. This can also be known as the host machine with the VMs known as guest machines. Virtualization allows for scalability so the e-commerce computing power can grow as the business grows.
A Winning Combination
Pairing an e-commerce business with the power, flexibility, efficiency, and scalability of enterprise cloud computing is a winning solution. Many online retailers have embraced this technology and continue to follow it as it leads them to improved capabilities for serving their customers and growing their business. By maximizing the potential of virtualization, e-commerce retailers are able to expand their reach and ultimately work smarter and faster in today’s increasingly complex digital marketplace.