Adopting an omnichannel retail strategy is critical as consumers today want fast and personalized experiences across all touch points, whether online or physical. A bad customer experience can easily prompt them to take their business elsewhere.
Many retailers are therefore now looking to increase their use of technologies, such as in-store contactless payments, app-based scan-and-pay systems, voice activation, video analytics, digital shelves, AI/ML and more. To effectively leverage these technologies and improve in-store customer experiences, they require a flexible and scalable cloud infrastructure that can be rapidly adapted to unexpected business disruptions and remote work requirements.
Public cloud computing is an essential enabler of any IT strategy. Still, merely moving to the public cloud is not a panacea for all IT infrastructure challenges. While providing customers with almost unlimited scalability and resiliency as well as access to innovative services, the public cloud has several key disadvantages, including latency and bandwidth limitations. Due to limited geographic distribution, a public cloud may not be ideal for delivering enhanced, contactless in-store customer experiences that require the transfer of massive amounts of data.
For example, video analytics can be used to calculate dwell time, create heat maps that show which products are getting the most attention, measure the effectiveness of in-store promotions, optimize queue management, and more. These use cases are dependent on the ability to rapidly collect and process huge volumes of video data.
Another drawback of limited geographic distribution is the risk of failing to comply with country-specific data sovereignty laws that require data and processing to be resident in-country. As more operations spread across disparate geographies, it is becoming difficult for retailers to meet the demands of each market’s unique data privacy requirements.
To address these challenges, a new computing paradigm, pioneered by Ridge, has emerged to support the distribution of compute resources at the point of need without sacrificing cloud computing benefits. Ridge Cloud provides the ability to extend the public cloud to local data centers. It enables organizations to leverage the ease-of-use, access to advanced services, scalability and flexibility of the public cloud while taking advantage of the low-latency, high availability, and performance of local data centers.
How does Ridge do it? They have federated top-tier data centers across the globe into a unified network hosting its platform instead of relying on the availability of compute resources in any specific location. This network is then leveraged to support the delivery of cloud services in proximity to end-users. Through a single API, developers get seamless access to Ridge’s fully-managed cloud services — including Kubernetes, containers and object storage. As a result, developers deploy complex cloud-native applications through a customized cloud architecture and users enjoy a seamless application experience.
To remain competitive, retailers are looking to offer personalized customer experiences within their stores. To succeed, they need modern IT infrastructures to support the most intense computing demands of today’s and tomorrow’s applications while balancing the often conflicting requirements for scalability, agility and performance.
Ridge’s distributed cloud model is an ideal solution for retailers that look to boost their digital transformation initiatives. Its massively distributed IT infrastructure is designed for delivering cloud-native experience at the point of need. With Ridge, retailers can deploy and scale their applications anywhere without investing in new infrastructure.
By offering an addition to the public cloud model, Ridge’s distributed cloud enables developers to seamlessly deploy applications anywhere. And by enabling the full potential of cloud-native applications, Ridge is changing the way retailers can innovate and provide new services.