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In Between the Numbers: Cutting Through the Cloud

April 30, 2012
at 10:41 am PST

 My colleague Bharat Popat and I just published a perspective on Cloud computing for retail that we think will help retail technologists cut through the cloud around Cloud.

 Our hypothesis is that Cloud basically consists of custom combinations of four IT best practices:

  • Virtualization.
  • Network-centric enterprise and store ICT architectures.
  • The acquisition of services – ranging from enterprise applications to infrastructure to complete business processes.
  • The pursuit (and use) of new financial models.

 All of which are in rapid adoption throughout developed world retailing (and enterprises in general.)

 In the paper, we argue that Cloud computing is important not just because of the operational and financial flexibility that it offers. It’s important (actually, it’s essential) because of how the retail business is changing, and where it’s going:

 Driven by shoppers whose behavior is cross-channel. Whose expectations are for a common brand experience in every physical space and to every possible screen.

 Shoppers who want associates to know more than they do. Shoppers whose attention span is increasingly measured in milliseconds, not minutes.

 It’s no surprise that a large number of major retailers have implemented one or more of the four best practices. A significant number are combining them to one degree or another.

 But an even larger number – according to what we see from analysts and in meeting rooms – are still thinking about it.

 Which is cause for concern. Rather frightening, actually.

 Because when the business is changing rapidly, you’ve got to be able to react-adapt-innovate at the same speed – or faster.

 Read the white paper today and use the comments below to let us know what you think.

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P.S. You can watch the replay of the Cisco Cloud Cloudverse for retail webcast featuring myself , Bart McGlothin and Peggy Casey  by clicking here

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