The digital landscape for grocers is getting more complex, requiring companies to track data both internally and externally to fuel their business and IT strategies. An integrated commerce ecosystem is a viable solution that empowers grocers to transition to the digital age, differentiate and compete. An IBM study shows the cloud market is slated to expand from around $10 billion today to $45.6 billion at the end of 2017. SaaS-based solutions are becoming popular because they require minimal time-to-market implementation, deliver real-time results and invaluable actionable insights.
What CIOs Want
For today’s CIO, the 3 factors that determine the effectiveness of any new platform are simplicity, efficiency and security. With IT budgets already pushed to their limits, CIOs find their teams have less and less time to gain competitive advantage in areas such as big data, analytics and monitoring.
“Once we get our heads around how to manage cloud as a service-delivery engine, our ability to adapt and change will be as fast as we can write a purchase order for services we don’t have today,” said the CIO of a $13.4 billion global manufacturing company, according to an HBR study.
Expedited Time-to-Market & Maintenance
For grocers launching eCommerce initiatives, this streamlined model will be a crucial advantage in an industry that will change as rapidly as consumer preferences shift over the years, and CIOs will not want to lag behind the competition in terms of IT functionality.
SaaS is efficient, making it easy for IT departments to set up, integrate, support and enhance the technology that will move operations along, freeing up time and resources that would previously have gone toward complex, tedious in-house maintenance processes. IBM’s cloud study shows:
- 74% of pacesetters reported SaaS increased self-service capacity for applications
- 70% claimed it optimized business processes and workflows
- 66% saw improved application agility and flexibility to deploy and implement solutions.
Furthermore, those who embrace the cloud have an easier time scaling and configuring services to their requirements.
Support for Internal IT Teams
Internal IT services may not always have the financial resources, time or trained personnel necessary to develop and deliver new strategic business capabilities. A SaaS platform provider can help retailers achieve points of differentiation while minimizing the impact on IT and business budgets. This also facilitates a mutually beneficial relationship which grows as the business develops its tech strategies and works with vendors to overcome IT obstacles and stay on top of consumer trends.
From the speed and ease of implementation to the cost effectiveness of its subscription models and interdepartmental integration, the cloud offers successful transition into grocery eCommerce. The right service provider can help grocer CIOs strategize and integrate a suitable cloud setup, allowing them to meet their goals and grow their businesses.