SaaS/Cloud-Based vs Monolith Systems
As our research emerged, there were a few surprises that jumped out at our team. First, security is and will likely always be an issue. Some experts mentioned the how SaaS programs were security risks, particularly when implemented by historically install-and-use, licensed software companies. When early software is adapted for cloud environments, it's can be akin to putting a band aid on a dam. Without the proper equipment, risk abounds.
The next surprise was how the infrastructure impacted the customer experience. With new consumers flooding into the markets, new expectations come with them. If your systems are built do deliver on the demand, you'll lose. What is not much of a surprise is what new consumers demand isn't really different than the tenants of good customer service. But instead of best practice, it's now a survival mechanism. Retailers need to be focused on innovation, consistency, and hyper-usefulness to make it in this new world. Without that, you will literally fade away.
System Ecosystem Redux
As we saw when we were researching temporary talent solutions, the rise of SaaS and cloud-based applications means the rise of specialization. New retailers are building flexible system collections that allows them to:
Shifts + Trends
Innovation and reinvention are core to retailer's long term success. Ensure customer satisfaction with the your technology choices by leveraging the flexibility and real-time nature of the SaaS functions. A close cousin of innovation, is using innovations that are in progress. People expect you to use their data to give them a more personalized and relevant experience, why not use facial recognition, the internet of things and machine learning to help drive and build rapport?
With great power, comes great responsibility. Use your customer's data, but use it well. If you're not using their data responsibility, it's a next-level deal breaker. Data breaches and dirty data practices means that the market is constantly worried. Ensure you're doing your due diligence to build the types of systems that will keep you customer's most important asset safe.
Finally, the rise of the a la carte service (think ride sharing, dog walking and one-hour grocery delivery) is changing your customers. The more discretionary money, the less time they have. Ensure that your brand is engaging in time-saving technology practices by using cloud-based applications.
Get the Details
The gap between technology’s promise and the all-too-common reality of operating under a patchwork of legacy systems and temporary fixes leaves many retailers frustrated—wondering what kind of efforts they should be making, what kind of ROI they can expect. Be sure to be on the right side of this discussion by getting useful insights from our recent paper: Head in the Clouds: Retail Benefits of Transitioning from Legacy Systems to Cloud-Based Applications.