Cloud becoming a key investment for retailers
A small but notable 20 percent of large scale retailers ($50 million to $250 million) see the cloud as the "most important technology" relative to other recent innovations, according to a new survey from eBay Enterprise.
The survey also found 26 percent of large retailers claiming the technology is critical to their company’s future growth
Overall, the survey, conducted in early March, included more than 1,000 e-commerce and marketing professionals from retailers with revenues of $3 million to $250 million. It was part of eBay’s "2015 Retail Growth Outlook," which examined projected revenue forecasts and critical decisions retailers will make this year to achieve anticipated growth.
The survey found that retailers plan on bringing e-commerce hosting (55 percent), inventory management (46 percent), marketing program management (40 percent) and CRM (40 percent) into cloud environments. Although cloud infrastructure is increasingly top of mind for retailers, top obstacles to adoption include security concerns (26 percent), shared resources (17 percent) and a lack of IT support staff (16 percent).
Source: Amazon Cloud Services
"The distinct advantages of cloud, such as the ability to access unprecedented real-time data and flexibility, puts it on the short list of business transformation enablers for retailers looking to deliver the seamless experiences that today’s consumers expect," said Craig Hayman, president, eBay Enterprise, in a statement.
The cloud’s potential hit the front of business pages last week after Amazon revealed for the first time that it’s Amazon Web Services unit has significantly higher margins than its core retail business.The company’s cloud computing services segment, which had $4.6 billion in revenue in 2014, is on track to reach $6.23 billion in 2015. Wrote Wired, "In the future, Amazon may be a cloud company with a retail site rather than the other way around."
Amazon was also confirmed to have a dominant lead over Microsoft, Google and others.
The New York Times noted that Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, at an event for cloud software developers last week, compared the cloud’s arrival to the 20-year stretch when Microsoft and Intel dominated computing as well as the web’s arrival that created Google.
"The entire world will be defined by smartphones, Android or Apple, a very fast network, and cloud computing," Mr. Schmidt reportedly said. "The space is very large, very vast, and no one is covering all of it."
- Online Retailers Expect to Increase Revenue by 17 Percent in 2015 – eBay Enterprise
- Amazon Reveals Just How Huge the Cloud Is for Its Business – Wired
- Amazon’s cloud actually merits the ‘disruptive’ tag – Bloomberg News
- With Amazon Atop the Cloud, Big Tech Rivals Are Giving Chase – The New York Times (tiered sub.)
Has the cloud become a primary or is it still a secondary investment for retailers? How does the battle between Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others help or hinder greater cloud adoption by retailers?