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Retailers See the Light in the Cloud

Analysts remain resolutely bullish on the cloud for the retail sector, and not just for commerce apps; core business applications such as ERP are prime candidates for cloud delivery. Forrester published a new report, “It’s Cloud Go Time for Retailers: Cloud Apps and Platforms Offer More Rewards Than Risks for Retail,” and the subtitle really says it all.

As retailers’ initial concerns around reliability, security and control over business-critical data have steadily decreased, the balance of risk and reward has tilted in favor of the latter as vendors have extended and improved their products.

Here are a few reminders of the cloud’s most appealing features. With the right cloud provider, retailers can:

  • Easily scale up or down. The cloud’s on-demand, pay-as-you-go delivery model lets you adjust capacity to your business cycles and growth – a very useful capability when it comes to tax filing crunch time.
  • Access advanced services and analytics. Since cloud vendors can spread infrastructure costs over many users, they can offer services that would be prohibitively expensive for individual users to develop in-house. The range of offerings is vast, from project management to advanced analytics to artificial intelligence, and they’re a lot easier to deploy and upgrade than most on-premises apps.
  • Ensure high availability and fast recovery. Cloud computing vendors provide very high levels of reliability. In addition, users in companies of all sizes can partner with a cloud vendor or multiple providers to build backup and recovery plans with levels of redundancy and replication that were once available only to very large organizations.

Things move fast in the cloud world; if your organization hasn’t investigated the benefits for a while, now is the time to take another look.

Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information.


About this Contributor

Pete Olanday Headshot
Pete Olanday
Practice Leader - Consulting, Retail Practice

Pete Olanday is the Practice Leader for the Vertex Consulting Retail Practice.  Pete is responsible for the integration of Vertex's Indirect Tax solutions in the retail space, specifically with Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and ecommerce platforms.  He has been with Vertex for over four years.  Prior to joining Vertex, Pete worked for international retailer IKEA, responsible for its POS platform in the U.S. and Canada.  He also previously worked for EY, in its management consulting practice, implementing ERP solutions.  Pete has a bachelor's degree in Information and Decision Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University.

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