Discovering the Potential of the Retail Industry with IoT

The number of connected devices is increasing every day. They are not only changing the way we live our lives but are also bringing dramatic changes in the entire industry. According to Mckinsey, the Internet of Things offers a potential economic impact of $4 trillion to $11 trillion a year in 2025. In the current industrial scenario, implementation of the internet of things is more evident in the retail industry. Retailers have now been able to collect information from various devices and process it to make smart decisions.

Let’s observe how the Internet of Things has revolutionized retail industries:

Improved Retail Experience: Customers can take help from the robots with the touch screen menu to find a product instead of walking in multiple corridors. Smart mirrors installed in various retail stores help the customers to see how a garment will look on their body without actually wearing it. They can also scan the bar codes on the product to get the corresponding information from the internet.

Precision in Inventory Tracking: Employees in production department can get precise data about the work in progress and the finished goods. Retailers can track and manage their inventory to meet their customers’ demands regardless of complications in the supply chain.

Prevention of Fraud and Shortage: Products are tagged with RFID tags which alert the retailer of a theft attempt. These tags also help the retailers to keep a track of their goods which are sold online in large quantities and have high chances of theft/shortage.

Improved In-store Experience: With IoT, retailers have various opportunities to improve their customer’s in-store experience. Customers in the close vicinity of the store receive targeted offers. They also receive special deals and offers while inside store thereby improving their shopping experience.

Make most of In-store Flow: With the IoT, retailers are able to collect insights about customers’ interests, purchasing patterns, etc. Using GPS and locations, they send notifications to their customers’ devices about the available promotional schemes, discount coupons, etc. to enhance customer experience.

Sync between Storage and Smart Shelf: With IoT, retailers are now able to track their goods, available inventory on the shelf and in the storage, manufacturing and delivery times, etc. This helps them to manage their inventory and eliminate the chances of an empty shelf in the store.

This being said, we still see a lot of potential in the retail industry to make use of IoT. The retailers should understand that the IoT isn’t just about sensors and connectivity — it’s about creating new customer experiences, revenue streams, and business models.

5 common misconceptions about Disaster Recovery demystified!

An organization’s data is recognized as the most vital asset. Companies who do not understand the importance of data backup and recovery are less likely to survive in the modern economy. According to a recent study, an hour of downtime can cost a small business around $8,000. Despite this, companies fail to invest in Disaster Recovery. Another study showed that 51% of small businesses still use local hardware-based backup solutions for their data which makes them vulnerable to data loss caused by various natural and unnatural disasters.

Below are 5 common misconceptions about Disaster Recovery:

Disaster Recovery is expensive: Business leaders often assume that having a robust disaster recovery plan will require high investment to hold copies of all servers, storage, and networks in a secondary data centre.

Cloud-based Disaster Recovery or Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) helps the organizations to move their enterprise applications to secure cloud locations where they pay only for the storage they use thereby reducing costs.

Our backup is on the on-site server: Organizations argue that their data is backed up on the on-site server and that they’re covered in case disaster strikes.

DRaaS is about minimizing the downtime after a disaster. Having a robust Disaster Recovery strategy will help the organizations to restore their operations quickly and in a highly automated fashion.

We work in a region with a pleasant weather: Organizations usually feel that because they’re working in a region with a generally good weather, they’re not susceptible to outages.

Organizations can face outages as a result of human error, malicious attacks, power outages or bad coding other than weather conditions. Thus, every company should have a robust contingency plan to be able to recover from a disaster.

There are no outages in our organization: When it comes to outages, they may temporarily go unnoticed but those small losses add up and become expensive over a period of time which can have a negative effect on the company’s revenue.

Organizations need to pay attention to outages in order to implement an effective and a reliable Disaster Recovery strategy.

A little downtime can be handled easily: Business leaders argue that because most of their systems are not customer facing, they can handle a little downtime easily. With the increasing demand for instant responses from organizations online, even a little downtime can lead to a massive impact on the customer loyalty which will further affect the revenue.

We conclude by saying that without having a proper contingency plan, companies run the risk of incurring high monetary and non-monetary losses like outages, downtime, loss of data, low employee morale, loss of reputation, and lower revenues. Thus, a robust disaster recovery strategy is important to run a successful and a secure business.

Key Cloud trends to watch in 2017

The cloud market continues to grow at an explosive rate, with an increasing number of enterprises adopting the trend to realize cost and scale efficiencies.

Here are some key Cloud trends to watch in 2017:

Big public cloud providers will enjoy a sharp increase in their revenues: The global public cloud market is growing at a CAGR of 22%. According to Forrester analyst Dave Bartoletti, the majority share of this growth will come from the big cloud providers – Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. According to the Synergy group, Amazon’s share of the market for IaaS and PaaS was 30% with 53% growth in the revenue year-on-year. Microsoft’s share was over 10% with 100% revenue growth.

PaaS will continue to drive the cloud market: VC firm North Bridge predicts that Platform-as-a-Service will see the greatest growth (33 percent CAGR) followed by Software-as-a -Service (19 percent) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (18 percent).

The public cloud services market will gain momentum: Given the time and costs involved in building private clouds, CIOs may find themselves switching to the public cloud. CIOs feel that they were spending a lot of time, energy, effort, and management bandwidth to create an infrastructure that already exists out there in a much better state and is evolving at a furious pace.

Big public cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft are opening new data centers and making concessions but they won’t be able to service every request. Thus, smaller players will enjoy the business in 2017.

Multi-cloud options may persist: In the coming years, the use of multi-cloud strategies will become common to avoid public cloud lock-in. Enterprises will continue to look for various cloud providers and will move towards selecting a model where they can combine services from multiple partners to reach the optimal level of efficiency.

“Belief that one cloud vendor can meet all needs is simply out of touch with reality and smacks of vendor hubris,” said Julia White, Corporate VP for Azure.

Enterprise applications to run on the public cloud: CIOs have become more comfortable in hosting critical software and business apps such as SAP on the public cloud. Bartoletti believes that as CIOs rely more heavily on public cloud providers, this trend will continue. “Enterprise are turning great ideas into software and insights faster and the cloud is the best place to get quick insights out of enterprise data,” Bartoletti says.

Private data centers will continue to exist: Though many enterprises are shifting to a public cloud model, a great majority of organizations will continue to favor both, data-center-based computing and the public cloud for legal and privacy reasons.

According to North Bridge’s survey done for 1,351 cloud companies, majority companies (47%) are straddling between the public and private cloud, 30% are strongly favoring the public cloud, and 23% are favoring the private cloud.