Over the last few years, CIOs and corporate technology managers have been faced with some interesting questions and challenges. This is particularly the case when it comes to balancing performance, data compliance, security and cost, while still keeping on top of the complexity of their IT stack, and ensuring that their systems remain flexible.
For those in the retail space who do not have a strong technology background, this can be a confusing and difficult area to manage. The capital expenditure associated with deploying online stores can be significant, and the hybrid cloud in particular is expensive and risky. Will it have a place in the future of retail, or will we see more and more retailers move to fully cloud-based solutions? Many industry experts believe that the hybrid cloud is on the way out.
Jeff Foster, Technology CFO at DuPont Fabros is one such expert who believes that the hybrid cloud is simply a stopgap on the way to full cloud adoption. Foster feels that retail collocation is an approach that will fade away as we see more people move towards the public cloud. He explains that many businesses using the hybrid cloud model right now are doing so simply because it is the best available option. As offerings such as Amazon Web Services and Oracle become more popular, that will change.
However, a number of other industry players believe that the only businesses that can be hosted entirely in the cloud are those that were designed from the ground up to operate in the cloud. So unless your retail business does not have an online store and a centralised stock tracking system, it will be rather difficult for you to go entirely cloud based.
Of course, there are a substantial number of businesses that are looking to move to the cloud, or get their first start in multi-channel retailing right now. And those businesses could well benefit from embracing a full cloud set-up.
If your company fits that description, then you should think carefully about your plans for the future. A hybrid cloud set-up may seem to be the path of least resistance right now, but it will carry with it short-term capital expenditure and on-going maintenance costs that a regular cloud configuration would not. A full cloud implementation will be easier to look after in the long run, and will be far more scalable.