Market Research Logo

Data Center Infrastructure and Cloud Computing Considerations in Retail: Gaining competitive advantage through better understanding retailers’ business and IT priorities

Data Center Infrastructure and Cloud Computing Considerations in Retail: Gaining competitive advantage through better understanding retailers’ business and IT priorities

Summary

Retailers are under a growing pressure to keep operating costs at bay while also launching various innovative solutions for maintaining competitiveness, which usually require upgrades to their IT infrastructure. Outdated servers, storage, networking and software need to be refreshed so that higher capacity, agility and scalability can be achieved at a lower or comparable cost. This is especially needed for running analytics and any new workloads that power mobile apps or IoT devices. In addition, resources require better integration so that different databases and software can be linked, enabling data sharing between areas such as the point of sale (PoS), supply chain management, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and marketing.

The majority of retailers already use some form of cloud solution, either as a private cloud in their own or co-located datacenters, or public cloud such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) or infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Most retailers look to implement a hybrid cloud that combines multiple resources with integration between on-premises and hosted environments in order to take advantage of their scalability and cost-efficiency while also meeting data compliance requirements, sufficient service levels and low latency for real-time analytics.

Datacenters form the backbone of most retail operations by hosting servers that run various business applications, storage arrays that hold vast amounts of customer and product data, and a sophisticated network infrastructure for connecting to the Internet, cloud service providers and store locations. Although vendors tend to focus more on advances on the software side in form of software-defined architectures and SaaS, retailers are still heavily hardware-focused and aim to maintain their own datacenter resources so that they can remain in control over their IT, meet data protection compliance requirements and can better manage service levels. Existing systems often require upgrading so that they can handle new types of workloads, and connections to public cloud resources need to get integrated so that these can be managed from a single platform in a secure and efficient manner.

The report Data Center Infrastructure and Cloud Computing Considerations in Retail analyzes the challenges and opportunities regarding data center upgrades and the usage of cloud computing in retail. Spending forecasts are provided for servers, storage, systems management software and public cloud services, as well as strategic advice for IT vendors and retailers.

Companies mentioned in this report: Cisco, HPE, Dell, Oracle, Amazon, IBM, Fujitsu, Supermicro, Lenovo, AMD, ARM, SAP, Vmware, Google, Mydin, Kind, Kraft Foods.

Scope

  • Most retailers look to implement a hybrid cloud solution that integrates on-premises and hosted environments in order to take advantage of scalability and cost-efficiency while also meeting data compliance requirements Although vendors tend to focus more on advances on the software side, retailers are still heavily hardware-focused and aim to maintain their own datacenter resources so that they can remain in control over their IT and meet compliance requirements
  • Retailers continue to invest in server and storage infrastructure, however the ongoing shift towards public cloud services leads to a gradual decline in hardware spending
Reasons to buy
  • Gain insight into retailers' data center infrastructure and cloud computing priorities. This reports helps you to structure your retail specific infrastructure strategy, and is especially useful for vendors that offer servers, storage, networks or cloud services.


  • Background: Retailers' Business Challenges
    • Table Figure 1: Retail IT environments are becoming more complex
  • Data Center Hardware Infrastructure
    • Servers are the backbone of the core infrastructure
    • Graphics processing is taking on computing
    • In-memory computing offers retailers real-time insight
    • Storage resources challenged by large data volumes
    • Converged and hyperconverged systems offer easy management
  • Network Infrastructure
    • Ethernet and fiber connections - a question of speed and security
    • In-store networks and Wi-Fi hotspots gaining importance
    • Ethernet and WAN buildouts drive demand for switches and routers
      • Table Figure 2: Ethernet and WAN drive growth in retail switches and routers
      • Table Retailers' global spending on Ethernet, WLAN and WAN technology (in US $ millions)
    • Fog computing emerges as pre-analytics moves to the edge
      • Table Figure 3: Fog computing moves analytics to the edge
  • Cooling and Facilities
  • Virtualization and Workload Management
    • Containers and microservices help to unify data and systems
      • Table Figure 4: Hypervisor and VM based virtualization vs. container based approach
    • Workload automation can increase operational efficiency
    • Access management is essential for compliance
    • Service level management ensures zero downtimes
  • Cloud Considerations
    • Table Figure 5: Considerations for retailers in developing their cloud strategies
    • Private cloud - agility within your own base
    • Software as a Service (SaaS) - the fully hosted approach
    • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - own software on top of a standard base
    • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - the bare computing resource
    • Hybrid and multi-clouds combine the best of all worlds
  • Market Size and Vendor Landscape
    • Server and storage spending forecast
      • Table Retailers' global spending on server and storage hardware (in US $ millions)
    • Systems management software forecast
      • Table Retailers' global spending on selected systems management software (in US $ millions)
    • Public cloud services spending forecast
      • Table Figure 6: Software as a Service accounts for the majority of cloud spending but platforms are growing faster
      • Table Retailers' global spending on public cloud services (in US $ millions)
    • ICT vendors compete for leadership in retail
  • Retailer Usage Cases
    • Mydin - Malaysian supermarket virtualizes its environment
    • Kind - hearing aid retailer implements flash storage
    • Kraft Foods Group (Mondelez) creates two dedicated private clouds
  • Advice for ICT Vendors and Retailers
    • Advice for ICT vendors
    • Advice for retailers
  • Appendix
    • Definitions
    • Further reading
    • Contact the author

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report