Cloud Computing Benefits for the Retail Back Office by @stefantopfer #indieretail

Keeping ahead of the curve in business ecosystems is difficult, particularly when you can watch big names fall from grace and play catch-up to those that were previously following in their footsteps.

Cloud Computing is regularly promoted as “the answer” for businesses

One technology that is regularly promoted as being the answer for businesses that want to lead rather than trail in the wake of their competitors is cloud computing. But do the benefits of the cloud live up to the hype and what are the things you should look for in a good cloud service?


The primary positive point of the cloud, noted by its key supporters, is affordability. For a business to be motivated into making the leap to cloud computing, it needs to be convinced that this will be cheaper than its current internal systems. Purchasing computational services on demand, only paying for what you use and avoiding maintenance costs, all keep cloud platforms on the less expensive end of the scale.


The cloud is best used as a seamlessly included feature of an IT setup that allows for multiple disparate areas to be pulled together and operate in harmony. Providers should be able to present you with packages that include things like internet hosting, e-commerce and social networking along with data backup and security.


Cloud computing needs to scale to meet the growth of your business and this does not only refer to increased capacity requirements as more users are added. It also necessitates that the cloud platform you choose can be upgraded to cope with new software and solutions as time passes.


The cloud should be able to be malleable enough to mould into a shape that feels purpose built for your business. This lack of rigidity will mean that businesses with one employee or one thousand will be able to take something positive from cloud computing.

These four criteria will help you to identify the best possible cloud provider for the job.

This blog was written by Stefan Töpfer – Hon FIoEE, Group CEO & Chairman of WinWeb


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
This entry was posted in Independent Retailer Month - Blog-a-day for #IndieRetail and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Cloud Computing Benefits for the Retail Back Office by @stefantopfer #indieretail

  1. frank says:

    in the era of cloud computing services from 1998 to till now, small/mid size business are using cloud computing service like PaaS, SaaS. Cloud computing is the answer to all IT solutions nowadays. 🙂

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