Moving to the Cloud—Things to Consider
The advantages of using a Cloud commerce solution are obvious—especially the cost savings and potential competitive edge. However, there are a few pitfalls to consider and precautions to take when moving e-commerce processes and systems to the Cloud.
So what does it take to digitally transform your business? And which Cloud commerce strategy can help you achieve your long-term business goals? To answer these questions, you should develop an IT strategy that is specific to your business needs. This is essential in order to maximize your potential and adapt quickly to changing expectations and markets.
By bearing in mind the following hints, you can avoid many of the pitfalls you are likely to encounter when migrating to a Cloud commerce solution:
Be aware of how your digital transformation and IT strategy is impacted by Cloud commerce in the long run and mid-term
Think about how using Cloud commerce will affect your IT strategy and decide which roadmap you want to use. For a Cloud commerce solution to realize its full potential, it has to interface with existing applications both within the company and in the Cloud. Integration, process automation, and the avoidance of silo solutions are important factors that improve productivity and employee satisfaction.
Make sure to always have access to your data
As with many Cloud and SaaS solutions, Cloud commerce is often prone to vendor lock-in. So what can you do to ensure that you and your data are not tied to one provider?
→ Check whether the provider supports your existing, external database subscription (e.g., Azure SQL database or Oracle on Amazon AWS). If so, this means you retain access to your data and can store, archive, and export it as required.
→ Does the provider enable you to export your data? If so, this functionality can be used to migrate your data to a different Cloud commerce solution.
Scrutinize compliance with data protection and security laws of your Cloud commerce provider
Data protection is a particularly important issue in the context of Cloud commerce since all data is stored and processed in the provider’s data centers rather than on the customer’s own servers. If you plan to move sensitive customer information to the Cloud, you should first check the legal requirements the provider has to meet when storing your data.
The location of the data center can be a crucial issue for many companies in this context. Cloud commerce providers that host data in Germany or the EU have to comply with much more stringent data protection laws and regulations than their counterparts in the United States. Always find out where your data will be physically stored and which data protection laws apply.
Anyone who uses Cloud services should carefully check their provider’s security arrangements. Serious providers will be happy to provide full information about their data security measures.
Strengthen your Cloud related IT know-how
While Cloud based solutions are clearly becoming more popular, companies still need their own IT departments. As the economy goes digital, IT knowledge is becoming increasingly important and users expect new digital solutions to be deployed with ever-increasing speed and flexibility. Digitization and growing use of Cloud based products are changing the demands faced by IT departments. Once highly specialized, they now require broad based IT knowledge but with particular emphasis on process design and management.
Despite the fact that many Cloud commerce solutions are hosted on high-availability, high-capacity platforms (e.g., Microsoft Azure) and backed by very strict service level agreements, considerable IT knowledge and practical experience is still required in order to evaluate and monitor these agreements.