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Uncharted: The Problem With Cloud In Stores Is…


Paula’s piece this week is about the who, what, when, where and why of our benchmark reports, and just how the data those reports reveal is so critical to informing every other part of our business. And as she mentioned, making the decisions of what ends up in those benchmarks is difficult. Quite difficult, in fact, since we collect far more data per topic than we could ever share in the finalized report. Which brings us to where we are right now: with “uncharted” data from our just-released Store Report.

Time and space prevented us from sharing this one. What do you think?

Figure: The Problem With Cloud In Stores Is…

What makes this chart so interesting is that we’ve been asking retailers quite a bit about “the cloud” lately. For starters, we conducted an entire benchmark around it earlier this year. Within, retailers told us they are VERY interested in the potential to accelerate changes long overdue in their operations. In fact, they view cloud-based solutions as a viable means to support speed and agility, and overall, as a way to push the “go faster button.” But when we got specific about who stands to gain most, they were quick to point to IT and eCommerce applications. Store operations were near the bottom of the opportunities list.

And in the Store Report, itself, when asking about POS systems, retailers were clear: most believe that some – if not most – aspects of the POS will always need to be on premise. More than a quarter of the best performers said that POS must remain store-centered, and only one in ten think it can be completely hosted in the cloud. As we put it in the published findings: “While the cloud may hold allure, retail will very much remain in a hybrid era for many years to come.”

However, this uncharted data sheds even more light upon what may be holding them back. While average and lagging retailers have more problems around cultural resistance and budgetary constraints – genuine concerns, to be sure – Winners don’t even get there. When forced to choose the biggest gating factor this immediately becomes about privacy and security. And it’s on the vendor community to prove to them it shouldn’t be.

On a day when the top headline is about Capital One and AWS exchanging blame for yet another massive data breach of customer information, we simply have to say: good luck!

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Articles & Opinions July 30, 2019
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