The Benefits of Commerce in the Cloud
By now much of the digital world is familiar with "the cloud," which is the use of computing resources (e.g., hardware, software, infrastructure) delivered as a service over a network. The method of delivery allows data to be accessed from any device with an internet connection and web browser. The alternative — and traditionally the common model — is licensed, on-premise software, which is installed locally on the hardware and servers of the purchaser and managed internally.
Cloud is now a viable option to support multichannel operations, and there are several key reasons why retailers of any size are attracted to cloud-based commerce platforms, including the following:
- Continual innovation: Enhancements are delivered continually to users without disruption of day-to-day operations or costly upgrades.
- Productivity: Removes the burden of managing infrastructure and upgrades that don't add value, and allows both IT and business teams to focus on core competencies such as merchandising, marketing and customer service.
- Open architecture: Efficiently extends the commerce platform to other channels and devices, allows developers to program in the language of choice, and enables an array of third-party technologies to maintain integrations to a common code base.
- Global by nature: Enables enterprises to plug into a secure, scalable and reliable environment that's purpose-built to support intense processing volumes and automatic redundency.
- Lower total cost of ownership: Removes initial investments for licensed software and reduces implementation costs. Over time, additional users and sites are introduced to the platform with minimal capital expenditures.
Another advantage of managing commerce in the cloud is the opportunity for economic alignment with the provider. On-premise software models are focused on license sales, yearly maintainence fees and future module sales. This doesn't foster a close working relationship. Cloud providers, on the other hand, are typically focused on maintaining and nuturing an ongoing relationship focused on mutual success from day one. This alignment with clients, and their goals, keeps cloud providers focused on and accountable to their ongoing success.