Today’s guest blogger is Ravi Potturi, Cloud Solutions Architect at SADA Systems.
Retail organizations depend daily on a multitude of applications that integrate with their consumers, vendors, and networks. Whether it is organizing inventory, tracking shipments, or maintaining customer profiles, any retail administrator knows that simply keeping these applications running requires complex data center support structures that are tedious and expensive to operate. Retail environments require a scalable IT system that has the capacity to handle high volume workloads, the reliability to keep business running smoothly, and the ability to maintain large amounts of data.
Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, provides retail enterprises with the ability to purchase powerful, scalable cloud computing on demand while providing additional essentials such as disaster recovery and consumer data management. Azure has developed into an increasingly valuable enterprise tool; 57% of Fortune 500 companies are using Azure to meet their IT and enterprise needs, and an average of 8,000 customers are signing up each week.
With the rise and fall of consumer demand, the retail industry demands IT scalability. Supporting this unpredictable traffic from a static, on-premise IT system can create huge business challenges for a company that needs to stay just as flexible as their customers.
Cloud computing is the perfect fit for retail enterprises that need to spin resources up or down with the flow of the industry. Azure works seamlessly with existing Microsoft applications, providing complete end-to-end support for everything from infrastructure to operating systems and applications. Azure’s secure integration with your on-premises apps and data also allows you to utilize existing knowledge and skills while adding the value of cloud technology to your current workflows.
Microsoft’s scalability options enable retail enterprises to move from expensive computing models with structured prices and limits, to one that is based on actual consumption. No longer do retailers need to acquire additional computing resources to cover peak workloads during busy seasons like holidays or Black Friday, or worry about over-purchasing computing resources when business is slow.
In retail, a disaster is anything that interrupts or stops your store operations. Retail stores are driven by many essential moving parts, and prevention of technical failures such an SQL or Exchange server going down must remain a top priority in order to keep store operation up and running.
Every retail enterprise should be prepared in the event of any kind of disaster or emergency. Azure provides a robust disaster recovery solution, Azure Site Recovery, which allows organizations to continue with business as usual even in the midst of a crisis.
Consumer Data Management
Retail organizations are required to manage and backup huge amounts of sales data generated by their customers. Traditional backup disks have a limited shelf life time that requires expensive hardware purchases.
Using Microsoft Azure as a data backup solution eliminate many risks and costs of dealing with big data without having to repeatedly update or purchase new equipment, or force business to come to a halt in order for upgrades to be made. Azure Storage and SQL Database offer comprehensive storage solutions to fit unique business needs.