What Retailers Should Know Before Moving Their Structure To The Cloud

The reason that pushes many retail companies to move their structure to the cloud is the ability of these Cloud-based architectures to provide almost infinite compute instances per minute. Other benefits include cost-effectiveness, agility, and scalability of the cloud, which enable retailers to react adjust quickly to consumer expectations. 

However, knowing why, how and when to implement the Cloud is a crucial step of the process. The reasons behind moving the retailer’s structure to the Cloud should go beyond the simple fear of being left behind, or the necessity to do like competitors. The decision should instead start with clear needs and goals.

Most commonly, when embracing Cloud technology too impulsively, retail organizations may face the following challenges:

Increasing costs

With Business Growth comes the need for more server instances.

Mistakenly, some retailers think that to decrease the costs, they need to move to another or an additional Cloud provider. Oblivious to the fact that service fees can actually become higher and more difficult to manage with this biased solution.

Vendor Lock-In

Although this may contradict the previous point, being stuck with one cloud provider can restrict retail companies from new technologies and competitive pricing mechanisms offered by other cloud vendors. Additionally, vendor lock-in can cause data portability problems, while retailers should always be ready to move their data to another cloud provider. In fact, that is the way to avoid sales roadblock for any organization in the retail industry.

Service incompatibility

The customer experience is constantly improving by the open source landscape through different frameworks and applications. While the cloud version of these is still upgraded less frequently, the open source solution is more agile and its databases are a step ahead compared to cloud vendor databases. 

Technical and operational complexity

It is not an easy task to manage cloud environments. Regional failures in public cloud environments can bring down data access, leaving IT teams struggling to recover their instance and assets as fast as possible

Now how can retail companies possibly avoid the misuse of cloud architecture? 

Amazon’s famous statistics showed how a slowdown of just 1 second could cost $1.6 billion. This leaves no room for mistakes and retail companies should support large traffic spikes while retaining low read latencies during certain times of the week, month or year.

Site slow down, checkout process bottleneck, UX disturbance, lost dollars and dinged brand reputation are all part of a snowball effect of an e-commerce platform that isn’t able to manage incoming traffic due to poorly designed, implemented and managed cloud infrastructure.

To avoid all this, retailers need to:

Provide low latency.

By keeping data close to the users and geo-replicating deployments with data present in multiple regions, retailers can ensure low query latency. Thus, a better User Experience.

Provide high availability. 

In this context, Karthik Ranganathan CTO of YugaByte advises retailers as following:

’’For business-critical applications, in particular, be sure to implement sound geo-distributed deployments architectures. Tolerate node and zone failures automatically with multi-zone and fault-tolerant deployments.

Replicate data across regions to ensure against regional outages. This could involve using additional, different regions or even cloud providers like Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure to mitigate any business impact resulting from AWS failures, for instance.

Be sure to perform region outage fire-drills to ensure well-exercised contingency plans for diverting traffic to other regions when an outage occurs.’’

Provide horizontal scalability. 

Spikes in traffic can occur as a result of various actions, such as a well-placed advertisement, Holidays, special days, and more. The effect of a traffic spike can be a dramatic increase in the number of simultaneous connections, the number of reads, and the number of writes. It is important to ensure that all of them are scalable in the application.

Comply with data regulations.

With data governance and privacy laws like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act becoming more prevalent and stringent, ensuring cloud-based data remains within compliance is essential.

Source: Tech News World

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