How the Pandemic Is Reshaping Retail into a Cloud-First Industry


Prioritizing agility in response to a changing market, retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands are leading the way in cloud adoption. The uncertainty of the past two years has served to underscore the adage that “the only constant is change” and has spurred the retail industry to adopt a more cloud-first outlook, says Deviprasad Rambhatla, Senior Vice President of Retail, Services, Distribution and Transportation, Wipro, in light of the latest research findings by Wipro.

As the global economy plunged into chaos, the intricately connected global supply chains that consumers relied on began to falter. The uncertainty that this created made long-term planning nearly impossible, devastating the ability of retailers to ensure that they had the right products on their shelves at the right time.

In response, retailers have consistently prioritized agility to guide their response to rapidly changing conditions. For many retailers, the digital transformation that was once a luxury quickly became necessary. The acceleration of digitization has led to an investment in promising new technologies and the widespread deployment of efficient cloud ecosystems.

How Cloud Can Improve ROI

Though the cloud presents real advantages to businesses operating in a wide range of sectors, it has particular applications to retailers, offering benefits that can be leveraged during economic disruption. The complete integration of cloud networks allows retailers to create a future-ready business strategy and drive revenue growth, proving essential for retailers. Furthermore, the rapid data gathering and processing ability inherent in cloud ecosystems makes it easy to offer greater customization that can be used to improve customer and employee experiences. Furthermore, the insights provided through the use of the cloud allow retailers to enhance their business operations by building connectivity. 

A recent report from Wipro FullStride Cloud Services confirms the benefits that the retail leaders in cloud adoption are experiencing, even amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic.  This comprehensive survey by Wipro titled: “The Big Shift: How Retailers and Brands Drive Revenue and Growth with CloudOpens a new window ” showcases how supply chain disruptions, retailers and consumer brands are pushing the envelope in their cloud strategies and increasingly leveraging the cloud to drive business growth and competitive advantage. 

See More: Can Going Cloud-native Eliminate Tech Debt?

Survey Speak: Retail Is Leading Cloud Adoption

The survey found that retailers are registering the highest revenue gains of any sector from cloud investments. The rapid adoption should be no surprise since retailers are reporting the highest revenue gains from the cloud – 4.75% compared to 4% across all other sectors. In addition, CPG firms that participated in the survey are averaging an ROI of 47 percent from cloud initiatives.

Unsurprisingly, these tangible benefits have encouraged retailers to adopt the cloud, with more than three quarters (78 percent) of them—and 71 percent of CPG brands—listed as either mature users of cloud ecosystems or intermediates prioritizing the advancement of cloud investments. This is notably higher than the 68 percent maturity rate standard across other industries. 

Inordinately disrupted by past two years’ events, retailers and consumer brands face an urgent need to reinvent their businesses rapidly. The report proves that retailers and consumer brands that prioritize cloud adoption can transform faster and accelerate growth despite increasing external pressures and are better positioned to adapt to future changes in business and technology.

Becoming a Cloud Leader 

The transition to leadership in cloud technology requires an advanced approach to cloud that prioritizes the technology as a strategic imperative across their business to improve financial, operational, and strategic performance. This means that companies must recognize the importance of C-suite engagement with the cloud and ensure that leaders are committed to using the cloud to improve consumer and employee experiences. 

It’s also important to recognize that it is never too late to begin the cloud journey. Though the prospect may seem daunting at first, the more rapidly a retailer adopts cloud technology, the sooner it will see the exponential returns associated with a robust cloud ecosystem. 

What aspects of retail could quickly become cloud-first? Share with us on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to know what you think!