Taking E-Commerce to the Cloud
E-commerce has managed to take advantage of many of the changes that the web has undergone since its inception, and with the advent of cloud computing, e-commerce businesses are once again faced with an opportunity to build trust with their customers, save on costs, increase speed and scalability, expand interoperability, and improve security.
Bonds of Trust
When the web was young and e-commerce businesses were struggling to develop a model that reliably and profitably worked, those businesses also struggled with building trust between themselves and consumers. The Internet was new and doing business over it was suspect at best.
E-commerce businesses had to work hard to establish trust in their system with consumers, and to this day this barrier still exists, though to a considerably lesser degree. Nevertheless, e-commerce businesses often spend time struggling to prove that they are a legitimate and reliable company to consumers.
With cloud computing, this barrier to entry will be reduced even further. The ability to use established cloud systems like Google and Amazon means e-commerce businesses can use the legitimacy and trust already formed with consumers by those businesses to create trust for themselves.
Cost is another key advantage to using cloud computing in e-commerce. The initial investment into software and hardware for an e-commerce business is often quite prohibitive, requiring large amounts of capital. More than one potential online business has fallen apart before it began because of the high cost of entering into the market.
With cloud computing, this is not so great an issue anymore. It is comparatively far more inexpensive for a business to move its business application and /or data center onto the cloud. In fact, it is estimated that a company can save up to 80% of the costs that are typically incurred by an e-commerce rollout.
Fast and Adaptable
A firm will be able to rollout that e-commerce application considerably faster using cloud technology, rather than building their own infrastructure and application from the ground up. With the ability to sell immediately after rollout, a business can quickly recoup the cost of what infrastructure they have invested in and quickly move to making a profit.
That speed also applies to the scalability of the firm. Using cloud services, a firm can scale its size and operations to meet demand or a lack thereof with ease. As a business’s scale expands, it will find that the increased interoperability that cloud services offer them is quite useful. These services might include programmatic access to users, partners, and anyone else who wishes to further leverage functionality from within their cloud.
Of course, security continues to prove a concern as cloud computing become more and more central to how e-commerce and business in general is done today. As more businesses use cloud services, the demand for high-security services like Uptime Systems will increase. The dedicated security professionals that top-of-the-line cloud services will have more experience with protecting you than most in-house IT departments, providing additional security beyond what an e-commerce business might be able to provide for itself.
Overall, the future is bright for e-commerce as it continues to move to cloud services. Faster, more profitable, more adaptive, and more functional: just what a business needs to be in the ever-changing, ever-more profitable 21st century.
T.M. Loyd is a technology, finance, and culture writer who has blogged for The Motley Fool and countless other media outlets. He has traveled and taught around the world, and currently writes for RankPop, Inc.