Omnichannel retail is the new black, and it’s driving a massive digital transformation in the industry. Tech-savvy consumers are now calling the shots—demanding access to multiple channels throughout their shopping journey from wherever and whenever they choose. Increasingly, retailers are migrating to the cloud to meet these new demands. The market for retail cloud computing is booming, too. According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global retail cloud market will hit $40.75 billion by 2023, up from $13.24 billion in 2017. Those numbers are impressive, but what’s more is that there are ways to optimize cloud spending and administration when building an omnichannel strategy. Enter itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS) + Google Cloud.
Cloud VDI enables an omnichannel retail experience
Consumers are not only changing the way they shop, they are also influencing product trends through online reviews and social media and doing extensive research and product/price comparisons online. They also expect an omnichannel experience at all stages of the journey. If their demands are not met, they will be more than happy to shop elsewhere. To stay ahead of the competition, retailers need to implement new, integrated technologies that improve efficiency across the entire supply chain faster than ever. Let’s dig into how Google Cloud-based desktops—deployed and managed with itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS)—enables digital transformation in the cutthroat and rapidly changing retail industry.
- Access – Whether it’s headquarters, on the floor, in the call center, in the distribution center—or literally anywhere in the supply chain—employees (permanent/contract/seasonal) need instant access to multiple applications and data from multiple systems to provide an optimal customer experience. itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS) enables IT administrators to quickly onboard users to Google Cloud and manage their Active Directory (AD) credentials through a single, intuitive dashboard. More than that, users can easily access their critical data and apps from any device to be more productive.
- Scalability – The retail industry is no stranger to spikes in demand, particularly around the holidays. By migrating workloads to Google Cloud, there is no need to procure and overprovision on-premises infrastructure to prepare for the inevitable fluctuations in transactions. GCP resources are available on-demand, and itopia’s autoscaling capabilities eliminate the need to manually configure GCP infrastructure to accommodate changes in demand—saving a massive amount of time.
- Margins – In a super competitive industry with notoriously low margins, retail IT department are under constant pressure to do more with less. itopia CAS gives them the ability to do that by making complex and distributed EUC environments super simple to deploy and manage throughout the entire lifecycle for the lowest cost. In addition, features like server uptime scheduling and GCP Custom Machine Types enable organizations to truly pay only for the resources they use.
- Security and compliance – Retailers process and store massive amounts of their customers’ personal and payment information, making them a prime target for cyberattacks. In 2018 alone, several well-known retailers were hacked, affecting millions of consumers. Google Cloud certifies against strict security and privacy standards like ISO 27001, ISO 27017 and ISO 27018 as well as industry specific standards such as PCI DSS. Further, itopia CAS gives IT pros granular control over security and user access policies.
- In-store experience – In today’s omnichannel retail world, consumers expect a more high-touch and personalized shopping experience. Retailers can provide this through a combination of cloud desktops and apps accessed through kiosks, mobile devices and interactive, location-aware web apps. In addition, customer service and sales associates can easily look up a customer’s preferences, past purchases and experiences to make personalized recommendations and increase sales and customer satisfaction.
- Insights – itopia CAS integrates with BigQuery to provide administrators with detailed insight into cloud resource utilization and end user behavior. The high level of visibility enables IT and management the ability to make more informed decisions on how to improve overall business processes and employee performance. This is especially valuable for retailers that are already leveraging BigQuery for data warehousing and analytics.
The rapid rise of ecommerce, the cloud and mobility have changed the retail industry forever. In this landscape, retailers need to be extra responsive to consumer demands to survive. In other words, they don’t have the time to worry about the daily tasks of administering increasingly complex IT environments across multiple locations and touch-points. By automating the migration and management of Google Cloud-based desktops and apps with itopia CAS, retailers can focus on meeting the omnichannel demands of modern consumers for the lowest cost possible. More importantly, they can stay ahead of the competition.