Retail IT Sloutions and Services
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Managing, storing, and analyzing the data is an exhaustive task. Businesses are quickly adopting cloud technologies to effectively manage and process the data to get real-time insights. To keep thriving in a highly competitive industry, retailers need to focus on extending their reach to customers with multiple stores, managing supply chains to provide unique customer experience. Integrating cloud computing services in the retail sector not only reduces IT costs but also simplifies the workflow, improve efficiency and end-user experience.
The importance of the cloud is growing exponentially. Gartner forecasts that the cloud services market will grow 17.3% in 2019 ($206.2 billion) and by 2022, 90% of organizations will be using cloud services.
Efficient Inventory Management
Efficient management of inventory is one of the common challenges faced in the retail industry. Big retail companies that manage multiple stores at different locations cannot check or manage their stock in real-time. With cloud computing, retailers can have wide visibility of their stocks. Cloud offers access to real-time data, cloud architecture and analytics platforms to build both predictive and prescriptive inventory forecasting that significantly decreases their issues such as stocks shortage.
Moreover, when managing multiple stores, you do not need to synchronize the inventories of multiple stores manually as you can access data and stocks any time and from anywhere to check the real-time stock availability.
Improve Data Security
Retailers receive continuous flow of customers, and continuous data is being generated every day. Cloud computing plays an efficient role in managing such a huge amount of data generated from their sales, stock or inventory data, or a customer’s data etc. Moreover, such business-sensitive data should be handled with complete care. One of the main causes of business failure is the loss of confidential business data (personally identifiable information) which is Network Infiltration, DDoS Attacks (most common attacks on computers and the network/server) Ransomware (infect systems and compromise data).
Data security is, therefore, one of the biggest problems to be addressed. Most of the retailers maintain their sales figures, inventory reports, customer feedback among others on the local servers. Whereas it is always better to store data on the cloud. Cloud helps you secure the data using advance firewalls, encryption, event logging, internal firewalls, and physical security etc.
Improving customer experience
Customer data and sales data collected by retailers have not been fully utilized. Cloud services provider uses high-power computing resource and statistical model to analyse data. Retailers can use the data coming from connected devices to analyze the buying behaviour, trends and interactions with the brand with its huge database and can create an edge to the decision-making process.
By using consumer data analytics for predictive purchases, retailers can predict the buying behavior of their customers E.g. what product the customers are buying every time. If they are buying discounted products or not, what is the price range of the product they are buying? This data is stored on cloud and with the help of analytics, retailers develop their marketing, pricing, or merchandising strategies to attract more customers. As cloud has become more secure, reliable, and affordable for data storage and processing the use of data analytics in cloud is also growing.
Often consumers find difficulty during checkouts while making payments. For quick and hassle-free checkout cloud-based POS systems can be useful that will reduce the time and enhance the consumer experience.
The retail market is struggling to maintain its profit. Hence, to maintain its profit margin they need to cut costs in various ways such as infrastructure, operations, logistics, etc. to stay in the business.
Cloud computing helps in savings IT infrastructure costs. Retailers can use it to reduce spending on software, infrastructure, licensing fees etc. Moving to cloud technology makes it possible for retailers to save their capital on server maintenance. Most retailers deal with big data continuously hence cloud technology becomes useful in their day-to-day operations.
Cloud-Enabled Disaster Management
The data is the most valuable resource in this digital age, one should always take appropriate precautionary actions to protect the data. Traditionally the data was recovered manually, which can be time-consuming and require constant maintenance and support. With the help of cloud disaster recovery model one can store data, which can be accessed from any location and at any time. A backup and disaster recovery in cloud can be initiated from any place and each step of the process can be automated.
Due to its scalability, cost-effective, and reliability, cloud computing disaster recovery has become the most convenient option for all enterprises. Such cloud disaster recovery uses cloud data centers located remotely to support business operations, which are impacted by several events.
In manufacturing, cloud computing offers numerous solutions for every part of the process, from marketing to productivity. Integrating cloud technology into multiple operational areas increases the benefits gained from using it. A few common applications of cloud computing in the manufacturing sector include the following.
The comprehensive nature of cloud technology makes it a natural match for the intricacies of marketing campaigns. Manufacturers use cloud-based applications to aid in planning, executing and managing marketing campaigns. By using data on production and sales, manufacturers can also track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Product planning and development tie heavily into production. By merging product planning and development information into supply chain data and communications, manufacturers can prepare their operations for full production. With comprehensive integration, products can move from idea to engineering to prototype to small production and finally to full-scale manufacturing and shipping much faster.
Production and Stock Tracking
Once production starts, cloud technology can benefit the process of producing and stocking products. With enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, companies can match their production levels to available stock and sales. The software can manage price quotes, order intake and customer requests. Fewer mistakes happen when using a standard product to track these, thus lowering order cycle times.
Rarely do manufacturers maintain the same level of production for all products throughout the year. To meet the market’s changing needs, manufacturers can use cloud-based applications to monitor when to change production. Plus, by allowing communications throughout the supply chain, these software solutions ensure producers have the required amount of raw materials on hand and can readily change their orders to match their future productivity levels.
SaaS Solutions in Cloud Technology in Manufacturing
Cloud technology has three main forms — software as a service (SasS), platform as a service (Paas) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). IaaS lets manufacturers of all sizes use an enterprise-level infrastructure to help with operation scaling, data storage and information processing. Companies use PaaS to develop their own applications in rented production or development solutions. Lastly, SaaS offers internet-based software programs for use by anyone in a company. Among these, SaaS ranks as one of the simplest solutions to quickly integrate into a business.
For example, a cloud-based ERP for manufacturing is a type of SaaS used in the industry. SaaS manufacturing software benefits include:
· Freeing companies from maintaining servers.
· Not needing to update locally stored software.
· No longer losing data from company computers or hard drives.
· Storing files in a secure, centralized location.
Manufacturing companies should embrace these benefits by integrating SaaS solutions into their operations more often. In using centrally based software solutions, businesses can enjoy several advantages.
Limited Misinformation or Disconnected Data
With a single software location, everyone refers to the same information and documents. When using cloud-based ERP, only one main source for company information exists. The prevalence of misinformation reduces because everyone uses the same source for company data.
Ease of Making Changes for the Future
Cloud technology’s scalability and constant updates make planning for the future simpler. Using a SaaS network avoids issues of outdated software or operating systems on an individual computer. By eliminating these concerns, SaaS makes integrating smart manufacturing technology and other future-forward solutions easier.
By connecting to the same files in the same software, everyone in the SaaS network participates in data collaboration. Because they reference a shared document, they all have the most updated information for decision-making and planning. Even those located remotely can contribute to operations and collaborate on projects with cloud-based manufacturing software
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Data Analysis and Business Intelligence
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- Data warehousing and master data management: putting together a single version of truth by cleansing and integrating your data from multiple distributed sources.
- OLAP cubes: handling careful combinations of relevant metrics on customer behavior, inventory, operations, finance and more from the standpoints you require.
- Reporting UI: providing users with interactive reporting dashboards that can be tailored to their particular role.
- Predictive analytics: tapping into customer trends and demand forecasts with meaningful data.
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