Retail organizations are embracing digital transformation and cloud technologies to be more agile and achieve strategic goals. The cloud enables them to drive innovation, make more informed decisions with data analytics, outpace competitors, and deliver products, services, and applications faster. The path to the cloud is unique for every organization and navigating that journey can be a challenge.
Accelerating business transformation with Cloud Adoption Framework
We’re excited to share new guidance within the Cloud Adoption Framework for the retail industry. It amplifies the documentation, best practices, tools, templates, and other useful resources already included in the framework, to accelerate retail customers to achieve their strategic goals and transform their business. This new content provides guidance to help retail organizations navigate their cloud journey right from defining their business strategy, creating their adoption plan, preparing their cloud environments, implementing governance and operations to maximize business value.
Ideally, organizations start with building their cloud strategy by understanding their business motivations and the industry-specific opportunities they need to address, including:
- Personalization: Consolidate customer data sources to drive relevant offers, grow revenue, and improve customer experiences.
- Omnichannel optimization: Provide a seamless customer journey, enabling customers to switch platforms, devices, and channels, while still having a connected retail experience.
- Supply chain optimization: Optimize supply chain with advanced insights and analytics that enhance product and service delivery and optimize planning to improve fulfillment, sourcing, and logistics.
Once the motivations and business outcomes have been identified, retail organizations would need to understand their digital maturity and assess where they are at in their cloud journey, to then properly plan how they would deliver on the business expectations and transform their business. To assist with this, we have created a retail maturity model that maps aspirational retail goals with recommended cloud technologies to potentially unlock those goals. By mapping the organization strategy, current and future stage, against this model, retail organizations would be able to prepare and execute a successful cloud adoption plan aligned to their business expectations.
Little to no cloud adoption and underutilized data. Legacy patterns and practices need to be modernized.
Starting with migrating and modernizing technology solutions with the cloud to enable advanced innovations and reduce operational overhead.
Taking steps to align to a common data model and preparing for future growth, unlocking advanced analytics while improving data governance.
Integrating AI and machine learning into custom applications and Microsoft’s retail cloud offerings to deliver intelligent retail and drive more value for customers.
After the business aspects of defining the strategy and creating the plan are in place, retail organizations can use the technical implementation guidance to build the proper cloud environment with Azure landing zones, and governance and management best practices to ensure that their cloud solutions are operating in alignment with their own and industry-specific security, compliance, and governance requirements.
Lastly, the scenario content also includes reference architectures to assist with the rapid deployment of retail solutions for common use cases, including scalable personalization on Azure, data warehousing and analytics, e-commerce front end, intelligent product search engine for e-commerce, and several others. You can find the full list of reference architectures and other solution areas for retail.
Real-world examples of how retail organizations address key challenges with Azure
Walgreens is able to rapidly analyze and generate insights from the tons of data it manages using Azure. With the power of Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, it has been able to dramatically improve certain operations, lower TCO, and modernize business processes and decision-making. Read how Walgreens modernized retail operations.
Albertsons migrated its entire datacenter to Microsoft Azure to leverage its capabilities like scalability, flexibility, resiliency, and agility to deliver a flexible omnichannel platform to customers that supports growth and innovation. Read how Albertsons accelerated cloud adoption by migrating its on-premises datacenter.
Proper and thoughtful cloud adoption is key for retail organizations that want to reimagine the way they do business by:
- Enhancing day-to-day operations with real-time data insights
- Increasing customer engagement with personalized shopping experiences
- Building resilient supply chains with end-to-end analytics and AI
The retail scenario in the Cloud Adoption Framework provides essential guidance, technical documentation, and resources to help retail organizations achieve digital transformation and get on the path to successful cloud use.
You can start today by reviewing the documentation and learning more about the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.