Retailers Are Making the Most of Digital Transformation Spurred By COVID-19January 18, 2021
The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit the consumer retail industry hard, as in-store experiences effectively cease. The need to ramp up and augment their e-commerce backend has many retailers making managed data center services a major part of their digital transformation decision-making process.
The impact on small and large retailers has been enormous, with global brands closing hundreds of stores around the world. E-commerce platforms are helping retailers of all sizes gain access to customers via colocation and a variety of services. But connectivity to cloud providers and the ability to scale colocation data center compute and storage are the vital link.
This helps retailers meet e-commerce platform and other application and workload scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency need. These attributes are the key to stabilizing and increasing customer interactions and sales.
The challenge has been that the same pandemic that thwarts in-person sales also presents problems for IT staff to enter the data center for ongoing compute and storage management. This is where the managed services data center can pick up the slack via remote hands, systems monitoring, hardware maintenance, and strategy consulting. These services provide the needed support for:
- Hardware, network equipment, and services maintenance
- System level software, OS, server Installation upgrades, and patching
- Data center storage and backup maintenance
- Fault tolerance and data center infrastructure redundancy in case of disaster or other disrupting events
Remote workforce VPN access point setup, hybrid cloud, and edge computing require skilled expertise for strategy development and implementation. Managed data center services can be retail’s one-stop consulting source for fulfilling these needs. Edge computing in particular will be necessary for IoT and AI, which are becoming integral to digital transformation for retail.
These data center managed services can focus on strategies that benefit the supply chain customer experience and generating additional revenue streams. Edge computing, in particular, will enable retailers to implement point of sale (POS) and product/solution updates remotely by:
- Increasing data and bandwidth scalability
- Shortening the distance between their services and consumers
- Lowering transportation and maintenance costs
- Optimizing end-to-end performance
Hybrid and multi-cloud connectivity strategies bound to IoT and related AI and analytics strategies will require managed data center services support for application and workload migrations. The most resourceful colocation and integrated data center network providers will be in the best position to deliver end-to-end services across cities, coasts, and continents.
Retail sectors have demanding regulatory compliance demands such as PCI DSS, GDPR, and others that will affect both data security and access. These will all require dual compliance and strategy consulting by these same data center managed services providers. COVID-19 in 2021 and beyond will have unexpected consequences that continue to impact retailers in fundamental and subtle ways.
Retailers will need access to smart hands and remote management one day and cloud/connectivity consulting strategies the next when the time is right. Managed services with the right data center provider can deliver on those needs as they arise in a changing digital retail landscape.