Claranet warns retailers of disruption threat

Despite a good few days where the tills have done nothing but ring the consequences of some retailers failing to embrace the cloud are likely to be blacker than last Friday

Retailers might be packing themselves on the back after a successful Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday but many face serious challenges in the next couple of years, unless they up their interest in IT.

That warning comes from cloud player Claranet, which is expecting the retail sector to be hit by a fair amount of disruption as a result of digital transformation.

When people in the industry talk of 'disruption' it usually precedes a conversation involving Uber or Airbnb and a warning that some traditional players face difficult times if they cannot react to emerging competition.

The same is true for retailers, with more than half telling Microsoft that they expect to be see their sector shaken up over the next two years.

But Claranet has found that well under half of the retailers it spoke to for its own research have implemented a DevOps approach and only 38% are hosting their ecommerce applications in a public cloud.

The reluctance to get involved with developing their own response to the competition and the reluctance to exploit the flexibility of the cloud are both dangers that need to be addressed, according to Ian Furness, hosting services director at Claranet.

"The retail sector is ripe for disruption. As a result, it's vital for retailers to be able to adapt quickly in order to contend with the disruptive players within their industry," he said.

"The faster an organisation can improve its applications, the better the chance they have of gaining the competitive advantage," he added.

Furness said that the IT departments were the ones feeling the pressure and they needed to work with cloud service providers to share the burden.

"By working with a trusted cloud provider with the specific skills and expertise needed to help organisations architect the best possible solution for their applications, they are able to focus their efforts where they are needed most," he said.

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