Moving an e-commerce system to the cloud environment to eliminate service downtime and ensure scalability, security and performance is considered to be one of the main reasons for its attractiveness. As a result, customers are more satisfied and their number increases significantly. The cloud is a guarantee of optimizing your business in the digital age. But is it always so simple with it? We dispel myths and confirm facts.
Why Cloud Ecommerce? What do we gain?
“I understand how it works, but isn’t it too expensive?”, “Does the cloud give you 100% confidence and security at all?” – these are just some of the concerns of owners of thriving e-commerce platforms who are considering moving their business to the cloud.
It’s good that such questions arise before the changes. After all, poorly selected cloud solutions can do more harm than help.
It is worth quoting here data from the Cloud and Cybersecurity 2021 report, prepared by the Paraphrase Online Team. They show that especially larger players do not show so much uncertainty about cloud solutions. According to large and medium-sized companies in the United States, an inherent element of digital transformation is the transfer of data and applications to the cloud (this is the opinion of as many as 68% of respondents).
So what do we gain by creating a marriage of cloud and e-commerce? First of all, constant access to your resources in a geographically dispersed infrastructure. We can also enjoy the great flexibility of individual parameters and the measurability of services. The principle that I pay for what I use specifically works 100% here, which generates additional savings for the company.
Many people also value the security of services as well as their full scalability, which allows you to easily and quickly bring your business to higher levels. What is this scalability? It is the ability to maintain performance while increasing the load by introducing more components.
Companies thinking about international expansion and those that already operate globally also see additional advantages that no collocation will offer them. Cloud systems allow you to quickly move services and locate them in any region of the world.
Thanks to tailor-made solutions, as well as the support of a certified consulting partner, the cloud becomes an inseparable element of e-commerce. As shown by many studies and our experience, companies using cloud solutions not only declare, but also willingly choose the support of an external partner in the case of infrastructure implementation and maintenance. This is largely due to the opportunity to benefit from his experience, especially at such a critical time as designing and migrating to cloud infrastructure.
Existing solutions vs completely new
The world is changing, and the factors influencing these changes could completely revolutionize some fields.
This is also what happened with e-commerce in 2020.
Example? According to Paraphrase-Online.com, as many as 47% of retail executives believe that the global pandemic has accelerated the process of implementing the cloud in their companies! In addition, experts from our research and consulting company are convinced that the cloud will contribute to the overall recovery of the e-commerce and retail industry.
So how have companies been doing so far? First of all, they were based on own or leased resources in data centers, and sometimes on local solutions. The purchased resources were overloaded during large events, such as the holiday season or the popular Black Friday, often limiting sales revenues, and sometimes even causing losses due to the lack of computing power.
On-premise solutions, compared to the currently popular cloud, were not perfect. And this is for several reasons:
– The variety of services available in the clouds allows you to build applications quickly and efficiently, putting them together like bricks. This allows for a significant shortening of the preparation of the application and gaining a competitive advantage, entering the market faster with new functionalities (shortening the TTM). In classic solutions, it was necessary to order servers, install systems and software on them, as well as many other works that we do not have to do in the cloud.
– Tools supporting automation and the aforementioned large selection of ready-made services bring significant savings in the work of IT teams, whose time can be used more efficiently and devoted to more important tasks than tedious repetitive work, such as application installations or server configurations.
– The systems for the automatic implementation of new software versions available in the clouds allow you to make changes to the software quickly and without interruption in the operation of the online store, providing new value for customers.
– Cloud solutions, thanks to their flexibility and pay-as-you-go billing model, allow you to reduce costs in times of crisis and smoothly increase the flexibility of the system at times of increased sales, when the store is operating at full speed. All this can happen fully automatically, unlike on-premise systems, where increasing the capacity often requires several weeks or several months of work.
– Local solutions are already assigned to a specific area by name. The cloud works globally (in many places around the world). Teams can work on it and flexibly share resources, and your company can quickly deliver its services to new international markets.
– Downtime at work and costly breakdowns – this is the domain of local solutions. With the cloud, you can manage any disruptions more easily, dynamically distributing traffic to systems in many regions and thus not losing customers.
– Your data in the cloud and the data of your customers are stored in certain, proven and audited data centers that meet very restrictive standards, including applicable in the medical industry. On-premise systems were often built in data centers that did not meet such high requirements. A good example is that data on cloud disks is always encrypted and we don’t have to think about it. In on-premise environments, this requires manual preparation and, unfortunately, very often it is not practiced.
– Cloud environments provide ready, proven tools for data archiving and backups. In relation to on-premise systems, we save a lot of time when implementing the backup and DR policy, and what’s more, we can be sure that these systems are well prepared and will not let us down in a critical situation.
What are serverless services and why are they important for e-commerce? Settlement models
Recently popular serverless technologies are offered primarily by hegemons of the cloud market, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure (Microsoft) or Google Cloud. Serverless services allow you not to think about servers, but focus on the specific demand for services and their purchase.
For example, we don’t worry about how many servers, processors or memory we need for our application or database. We focus only on the services we need. From the engineer’s perspective, the serverless service in the cloud is a model in which the programmer or architect only deals with the creation of business logic, and not the infrastructure on which it will be performed.
According to Dell Serverless By Design, serverless architectures are those that eliminate the complexity and burden of maintaining cloud resource management. They do not require the provision or direct management of server technology. They are automated and allow companies to allocate additional resources and capital to application design and development.
Sounds great. There is also the issue of settlements for such solutions. Here, too, a surprise awaits us, namely the aforementioned pay-as-you-go model. Therefore, cost effectiveness depends on how well we adjust our system to the business model. It is worth paying attention to the fact that the costs of such a system change flexibly depending on the demand for computing power, and the demand for computing power depends on how sales in our online store are developing.
In short, the greater our revenues, the higher the costs will be. At the same time, in the event of a possible decrease in revenues – costs are reduced automatically. Of course, when using cloud environments, you must remember to monitor these costs on an ongoing basis, so that the final bill does not come as a surprise.
Profitability in the long term? The future of the cloud in e-commerce
The development of cloud solutions does not bypass the e-commerce industry. To deliver products even better and faster, online retailers need to adapt to activities that will allow them to expand their business and conquer international sales markets.
The smooth scalability of cloud systems allows us to forget about investing in new servers and overloading our system, while the ease of duplicating environments and the global operation of cloud computing allow the technology to easily keep up with the global business development.
It must be remembered that the cost-effectiveness of a cloud environment depends on the optimal use of resources and services. If we limit the process of migrating the on-premise environment to the cloud to only lift and shift, without the adaptation process, it may turn out that we will not get the expected benefits. Therefore, before taking such actions, it is worth getting well prepared and developing the entire plan. As a rule, companies facing such a challenge do not yet have enough experience in the use of cloud services to carry out this process flawlessly on their own. In such situations, it is always worth considering using the experience of consulting companies that have the appropriate knowledge. Then we will certainly avoid unpleasant surprises.
Cloud solutions allow you to develop your business on your own terms – smoothly control costs, use the components you need at a given moment, flexibly and quickly improve your e-commerce system and develop globally.
If you want to talk about the possibilities of using the cloud in your company – please contact us. We will suggest how to organize cloud solutions so that they work for the benefit of your business.