The July 2018 research polled 135 retail decision-makers from nine countries. The goal was to evaluate their interest in an industry cloud computing strategy. In total, 87 percent of respondents understand the importance of software that integrates across an end-to-end value chain in the cloud.
Leading retailers are writing the playbook for cloud transformation
Best-in-class retailers who focus on digital priorities such as customer centricity, digital consumer supply chain, smarter retailer technology and monetization of new customer offers are much further along in their transformation journey than retailers who do not prioritize a similar approach. 81 percent of innovative retailers have started or completed their digital transformation, compared to just 55 percent of other companies. Further, innovators plan to continue investing in customer engagement, marketing, sales, commerce, supply chain and merchandising.
“Retailers seeking to better understand and connect with their customers, suppliers, and partners are uniquely positioned to take advantage of industry cloud solutions,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, co-president of SAP Industries. “This study finds that retailers see cloud as a key enabler for their digital priorities. Consequently, they are willing to invest more in the cloud to support business processes like infrastructure and sales. Such a shift not only launches retailers on a needed intelligent enterprise journey but also improves business satisfaction.”
Technologies driving the transformation
Innovative retailers are currently leveraging a mix of intelligent technologies to help achieve digital transformation goals. Respondents see the Internet of Things (88 percent), real-time analytics (86 percent) and machine learning (84 percent) as their preferred transformation technology. The overwhelming majority (92 percent) see the benefit of moving end-to-end processes or business processes to an industry cloud. They expect it to have a notable improvement on their ability to digitally transform their whole ecosystem.
- 97 percent of retail innovators see improved service delivery and effectiveness
- 93 percent of retail innovators feel they have an improved competitive advantage
- 93 percent of retail innovators see increased business satisfaction through cloud integration with their ecosystem
Retailers are at the forefront of cloud adoption. However, the industry is still in the early stages when it comes to moving end-to-end processes to the cloud. As noted in the Forrester study, “Retailers see the benefits [of cloud solutions] but need a better understanding of priority use cases, the elements that make up an industry cloud and how to get started.”