Cloud

Cloud computing ought to be a natural fit for retail, as the ability to scale up or down and launch rapidly in new locations are characteristic of both. Yet the retail sector has yet to fully grasp the benefits of cloud in the way that other industries have. Most retailers are using cloud for non-core activities, while leading-edge retailers have moved core SAP and Oracle systems to private clouds. But there is potential to do so much more.

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How you can use the RetailTech Model

The first stage is Research & Development, when an innovation is not fully-fledged and has not yet been adopted beyond prototypes, trials or POCs.

New technologies typically go through 5+ years of R&D, though the timeframe will vary substantially depending on the degree of innovation entailed.

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Model Stages

The Leading Edge stage indicates when an innovation has moved out of R&D and into operation. Approximately 5% of the market adopts the innovation at this stage, usually start-ups and a few industry players known for being forward-looking.

Sometimes, an innovation is picked up from another sector. As indicated in the timeline below, it typically takes 1 to 3 years to move from the Leading Edge to Early Adopters stage.

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Model Timeline

At this stage organisations are more risk averse than those at the Leading Edge, but are still keen to be in the industry’s upper quartile and adopt a new technology.

The broad timeline for technologies to remain at this stage is 2 to 5 years at which point they will have reached around 25% market adoption.

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Model Origins

By this point a technology or business innovation can be considered as Mainstream since it will have been implemented by around 50% of the market.

2-5 years is the typical timeframe for this stage.

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Model Lenses

Technologies in the Late Adopters stage have been widely adopted across the industry with 80% - 100% of the market using them after a further 5+ years.

Not all technologies end up being adopted by everyone, with some 20% of technologies never reaching full adoption.

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R&D

The first stage is Research & Development, when an innovation is not fully-fledged and has not yet been adopted beyond prototypes, trials or POCs.

New technologies typically go through 5+ years of R&D, though the timeframe will vary substantially depending on the degree of innovation entailed.

. .
5+
Leading Edge

The Leading Edge stage indicates when an innovation has moved out of R&D and into operation. Approximately 5% of the market adopts the innovation at this stage, usually start-ups and a few industry players known for being forward-looking.

Sometimes, an innovation is picked up from another sector. As indicated in the timeline below, it typically takes 1 to 3 years to move from the Leading Edge to Early Adopters stage.

. .
5%
1-3
Early Adopters

At this stage organisations are more risk averse than those at the Leading Edge, but are still keen to be in the industry’s upper quartile and adopt a new technology.

The broad timeline for technologies to remain at this stage is 2 to 5 years at which point they will have reached around 25% market adoption.

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25%
2-5
Mainstream

By this point a technology or business innovation can be considered as Mainstream since it will have been implemented by around 50% of the market.

2-5 years is the typical timeframe for this stage.

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50%
2-5
Late Adopters

Technologies in the Late Adopters stage have been widely adopted across the industry with 80% - 100% of the market using them after a further 5+ years.

Not all technologies end up being adopted by everyone, with some 20% of technologies never reaching full adoption.

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80%-100%
5+

The first stage is Research & Development, when an innovation is not fully-fledged and has not yet been adopted beyond prototypes, trials or POCs.

New technologies typically go through 5+ years of R&D, though the timeframe will vary substantially depending on the degree of innovation entailed.

The Leading Edge stage indicates when an innovation has moved out of R&D and into operation. Approximately 5% of the market adopts the innovation at this stage, usually start-ups and a few industry players known for being forward-looking.

Sometimes, an innovation is picked up from another sector. As indicated in the timeline below, it typically takes 1 to 3 years to move from the Leading Edge to Early Adopters stage.

At this stage organisations are more risk averse than those at the Leading Edge, but are still keen to be in the industry’s upper quartile and adopt a new technology.

The broad timeline for technologies to remain at this stage is 2 to 5 years at which point they will have reached around 25% market adoption.

By this point a technology or business innovation can be considered as Mainstream since it will have been implemented by around 50% of the market.

2-5 years is the typical timeframe for this stage.

Technologies in the Late Adopters stage have been widely adopted across the industry with 80% - 100% of the market using them after a further 5+ years.

Not all technologies end up being adopted by everyone, with some 20% of technologies never reaching full adoption.

Peak Performance

Cloud is a change that has to happen – and fast – in retail.

One of the biggest drivers is seasonal peaks, e.g. Christmas and the growing impact of Black Friday and other key calendar events. With cloud computing, retailers can purchase infrastructure as needed, gaining essential flexibility around demand. Likewise, the time it takes to launch new branches in new places can be radically reduced by “branch-in-a-box” and equivalent supply-chain solutions.

It’s true that retailers face the challenge of growing privacy concerns, as GDPR takes effect in the European Union cyber attacks become more common. But the reality is that only cloud providers and the very largest retailers have the resources and expertise to upgrade security at the level needed to ward off determined threats.

One example is DXC client Halfords. The retailer is using the cloud for mission-critical workloads and meeting regulatory requirements for data protection. Through managed services, Halfords gains benefits such as 24x7 operation, management and monitoring of SAP systems. The flexible, cost-effective infrastructure and applications can be rapidly scaled to meet future business requirements.

When it comes to service management, IT operations have become more automated with software defined infrastructure now well established. The next stage will be machine learning or “deep learning” that uses analytics to automate continuous improvement of service management.

A further reason for closing the gap in cloud is to better position the business for the next wave in computing. Internet of Things (IoT) will see operational and analytics workloads being driven by sensors and other IoT devices at the edge, which will require computing that’s able to scale up and down automatically and instantaneously.

At the same time, applications need to be transformed to operate in real-time instead of batch-time, and they must be supported by infrastructure and communications to match. Retailers need cloud not traditional infrastructure; APIs not EDI. Furthermore, the processing capacity of cloud will be essential to leveraging big data in a world where processing and analytics occurs in highly distributed environments: IoT, distributed mesh networks and industry ecosystems.

Explore the RetailTech Model for Supply Chain to understand these and other technology innovations changing the retail experience.

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Cloud Expert

Andrew Dare
Technology Innovation Lead

Arrange a meeting with Andrew Dare

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