How to Ensure a Successful Retail Cloud IT Deployment

Why use a cloud infrastructure to create rapid business growth?

 
Using a public cloud infrastructure enables you to budget scalable IT with amazing constant performance, together with a worldwide logistical coverage delivering greater agility to your organisation.

Why migrate from on-premise legacy infrastructure to the public cloud?

 
In a sentence, it enables rapid development time which enhances scalability.

Currently…

It takes months to order IT hardware like servers, organise staff and suppliers people or professional service time to deploy these into data-centres, together with all the additional software applications deployed and the costs of additional power and data connectivity links increasing capacity.

All this needed to be done before deploying your bespoke applications.

 

The result?  

A very demotivated development team before you’ve got going especially knowing competitors are breathing down your neck to get their alternatives to market. If they are more agile, they beat you to market meaning you start the cycle again.

Why put your retail business in this situation before you start?

Public Cloud IT solution

 

By being in the public cloud, you can rapidly test your market by delivering a hosted solution to a chosen demographic of your prospective but existing customers. This, with planning, can be done in days.

 

Currently on-premise….

 

Pulling a unified customer retail solution together means integrating services from different suppliers in a workflow from your inventory product and service list to your pricing application to your checkout basket. 

Each of these services come from different suppliers but you have integrated them in a traditional hosted data centre environment where keeping their core databases and resources separate can be a real challenge.

If one of the suppliers makes backend changes when perhaps implementing version upgrades to close gaps on any inherent vulnerabilities, this could have a catastrophic domino effect on the other applications which can take days or weeks to remedy.

The supplier performing the version upgrades on their solution may have rolled this out globally, so can not reverse engineer it. It may then be down to you and your organisation to pay the costs to have the other suppliers adapt their back-end code to get your original solution back on-line.

In the public cloud….

 

Your organisation can create separation easily and securely across dozens of integrated applications whilst monitoring these remotely.

 

The result?

This builds trust and confidence in your development team to generate more dynamic lean processes and revenue generating value-adds to your clients.

Worldwide logistical coverage

 
Rapid customer response times are critical. If you have a product and service portfolio that can be available worldwide, then a cloud-based infrastructure is a must to avoid slow latency from your website if being accessed simultaneously from Manchester to Hong Kong to Hawaii.

Matrix247 uses public cloud providers that are amongst the largest on the globe delivering rapid and secure connections with linked data centres across dozens of regions and hundreds of countries.

Budgeting Scalable IT with Amazing Constant Performance

 
The public cloud providers invest and have access to the latest processor technologies, fastest possible responding memory units, newest solid-state drives (SSD) for storage and unbeatable Graphic Processing Units (GPU’s).

All developers of queuing solutions, caching and managed databases put their technologies into the public cloud for you to choose from.

As soon as you make the move into the cloud with Matrix247 the impact of your new business IT performance would be seen immediately enabling you to compete on a level playing field against the largest of your competitors who may have already migrated to this advantageous public cloud IT architecture.

Being in retail may well see spikes and troughs in seasonal performance. Cloud based IT enables this scalability. Additional virtual servers can be switched on as simultaneous visitors using your applications increases and switch them off as peaks reduce enabling maximum efficiency in managing your IT budget.

Why pay for not just the additional hardware, but the support contracts to manage this hardware, if not being used in a traditional on-premise infrastructure.

 

Is Public cloud more secure than on-premise IT solutions?

 

The key is ensuring policies are created with your IT cloud providers. These should cover:

  • IT governance
  • Responsibilities of data handlers
  • Cryptographic Key enabled encryption to secure your data
 


It is recommended, where possible, to store your data in countries of your own legislation. The reason for this, is that the governments of most countries can legally request access to data stored in the public cloud. It’s then up to the cloud providers themselves as to what extent they share the data that has been requested whether in whole or part.

Should customers personal data then leak from sources out of control of your own, then the reputational damage could be devastating. 

It’s for this reason that customers should secure their data appropriately, so that even the public cloud service providers like Microsoft can not decipher your stored information on requests to hand-over your data.

Summarising, providing you apply appropriate IT governance and security working with your solution designer, then your organisation will be 60% securer in a public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) than in a traditional data centre according to a 2020 Gartner report.

Gartner also reported in 2022 that 95% of the time, it’s the customer’s fault that causes breaches in cloud security. Choosing the right team to work with is critical as a part of your move to the public cloud.

Migrating Retail apps and data into the cloud

1 . Due Diligence Discovery


Review of current:

  • Workloads and Dependencies
  • Apps used and integrated
  • IT infrastructure
  • Data Network Connectivity 
  • Policies
  • Low, medium and high-risk security in place
  • Encryptions in place
  • Business Continuity
  • Disaster Recovery plans


Understand and discuss the challenges in each app used and it’s suitability to both move and integrate in the new cloud environment. Are there better and lower cost apps that have already been developed to replace your weakest links?

Understand and discuss all risks in managing a change-over.

2. Worldwide logistical coverage

 

Rapid customer response times are critical. If you have a product and service portfolio that can be available worldwide, then designing a cloud-based infrastructure with fast consumer access is a must.

Discuss the cloud infrastructure of your public cloud provider and where best to deploy your own infrastructure to enable the most rapid response times to your consumers and avoid any potential of slow latency of customers accessing your website.

3. Migration Execution- Choice of 4 approaches

 

There are three hybrid phased approaches and a swift cohesive approach.

The benefits of hybrid approaches is mitigating risk, if you don’t have the confidence in the experience of the cloud migration team you’re partnering with.

The downside of the first three hybrid approaches is your current or what would be costs for your on-premise data centre.

Design a phased migration considering amongst others:

  • Geographical Locations
  • Legacy business applications and workloads
  • New applications developed
  • Data locations
  • Infrastructure
  • Contractual agreements
  • Incumbent applications used, their capabilities to migrate 

Option 1: Hybrid ‘separating workload’ approach

 

This is ideal for retailers who wish to perhaps leave existing apps running in their own or hosted data-centre, ensuring in phase one only the new apps developed for new consumer products and services are deployed into the cloud to gain all the benefits including rapid scalability.

Option 2: Hybrid ‘balancing workload’ approach

 

Your individual workloads are deployed in both the cloud and your own data centre.

This is known as an active-active design. The workload is balanced between the two, but you benefit from the rapid scalability in the cloud when your demand increases.

If your business strategy shows a fast high-growth potential, this is ideal, for example, running TV campaigns or Black Friday offers.

Option 3: Hybrid ‘disaster recovery’ approach

 

Again spreading all your workloads across both your own data centre and the cloud. Choose one as the primary location and one as the back-up location or auto-failover site. 

Chosen when you may be acting as an affinity partnership for other brands with demanding SLA’s. Dual replication can be well demonstrated.

Option 4: Swift Cohesive approach

 

A complete cloud migration after all due-diligence has been completed to ensure all bases covered on current applications and their capabilities being cloud-ready and all risks mitigated.

A lot easier to project manage and far lower overall investment than the hybrid approaches.

Measuring Historical Performance Data

 

To configure accurately as possible to ensure IT budgets are maximised and your infrastructure design is at its optimum, there is a lot of measuring to do of historical performance data across:

  • Central Processing Units
  • Data Network
  • RAM Memory stores
  • Server disk arrays
  • Simultaneous capacities
 

Ensure your management information looks at all peaks and troughs historically as well as your mean averages. Allow for additional expansion in your new cloud model as it will be working a lot more efficiently too.

Measuring Historical Performance Data

 

Hopefully you can see clearly the reduction in operating costs monthly and annually from an on-premise infrastructure with the costs of hardware, the ongoing support costs of this, the costs incurred in supporting the existing infrastructure, all the professional service time of a costly IT workforce with IT training costs factored in to attempt in keeping the never ending , always shifting IT landscapes vulnerabilities in-check from internal and external securities breaches.

Compare this with a public-cloud deployment where all the above costs just drop away and your business has access automatically to the highest global standards of qualified support in all areas including security. 

Your only choice should be which is the best option above to deploy your new public-cloud infrastructure and who would be great supplier-partners to take you on that journey.

Latest Blogs News Articles Events

Case Study: Lyndhurst Precision

Case Study: Lyndhurst Precision The Client Based in Chorley, Lyndhurst Precision are an engineering company covering everything from one-off bespoke tools to life saving medical

Read More >