Simple Steps to Make Your E-Commerce Operation Cloud-Ready

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E-commerce stores are quickly realizing just how important the cloud is for faster and more efficient, secure, operations. If you haven’t moved your business off-site yet, here’s what you need to know.

Speeding Up Your Business

One of the biggest benefits of moving operations into the cloud is that you speed up your site dramatically. Building your application in the cloud is 5 times faster than traditional hosting. For example, using something like IBM cloud hosting could get you up and running 5 times as fast as either an in-house custom solution or an outsourced non-cloud solution.

That means a shorter time-to-market, which translates into more sales, faster.

Reducing Costs

Your costs are reduced by moving into the cloud. Because your application is on a proven development platform, and you’re using a 3rd party’s resources, you’re able to leverage economies of scale. This often translates into a net production cost of about 20 percent of traditional e-commerce costs.

Cloud-based e-commerce apps also eliminate the need for an expensive CRM solution.

It’s Scalable

The cloud is infinitely scalable. When you need more bandwidth, you’ve got it – usually within minutes.

Need more space or need to increase the size of the site? Need to expand business operations? It’s really easy to do in the cloud.

This is particularly true of business-to-consumer sites. With traditional e-commerce sites, there is significant upfront costs to build out the site and set up additional servers. In the cloud, you’re taking advantage of a massive amount of shared hardware resources, without giving up dedicated software resources, meaning that you’re able to “piggyback” off of multiple servers without having to build out a custom solution.

It’s Customer-Centric

Running an e-commerce business in the cloud simplifies interactions with consumers and drives down operating costs.

You Pay For What You Use

You also pay for only what you use. When you don’t need the space anymore, or you don’t need additional bandwidth, you simply “destroy” your cloud servers and it’s done. You don’t eat the cost of the added development.

With a traditional setup, you’re stuck with the hardware resources. You’ve already paid for them upfront, so it’s in your best interest to use them. But, if you can’t, they sit and depreciate.

Security Is Improved

Security in the cloud is improving and, while not perfect, is often far superior to on-site security. Why? Because most cloud hosts have their servers sheltered in secure buildings with 24/7 armed guards and biometric security points.

This is not something most businesses can afford, which makes in-house operations inherently less secure.

You Do Trust Your Business To Someone Else Though

One drawback to cloud hosting is that you’re entrusting your data to a 3rd party. If you don’t feel comfortable with that idea, then you’re not likely to find a major benefit in moving your operation off-site.

With privacy concerns mounting, and uncertainty about the NSA’s collection efforts, it’s something to consider, especially if you’ve got sensitive company or client data that you don’t want leaked to a government agency.

Jared Browne works in a senior role for an online service provider. He is always keen to share his insights with an online audience. His thoughts can be found on a number of different websites.

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