Cloud Retail blog

Navigating the Complex Landscape of IT Solutions: A Comprehensive Insight

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In the ever-evolving business landscape, companies are frequently facing a myriad of IT challenges, particularly when starting from scratch or scaling their existing operations. This article seeks to illuminate the significance of these challenges in various contexts that a company might navigate.

Understanding the Relevance of IT Challenges

Before we delve deeper, it is vital to underscore the relevance of these challenges in today's business environment. Companies might be in the early stages, venturing into the online sphere alongside an existing offline business, or aiming to escalate an already established commerce grappling with growth issues. These challenges hold pertinence in each of these scenarios, presenting unique hurdles that can potentially hinder progress.

Contextual Variations in IT Challenges

Companies may find themselves navigating one of the three following contexts, each presenting its own set of unique ecommerce challenges:
  • Starting from Scratch: Companies built from the ground up encounter a distinct set of challenges that necessitate innovative solutions.

  • Transitioning to an Online Business: When adding an online part to an existing commerce business, a retailer faces specific eСommerce issues not present in a startup scenario.

  • Scaling an Existing Business: Companies aiming to expand their existing business might confront a diverse set of issues, significantly influenced by the region they operate in.

Regional Variations in IT Challenges

The nature and extent of these challenges can also fluctuate considerably based on the geographical region. For instance, according to GlobalData, China’s ecommerce market is the world’s largest. Different regions like LATAM and MENA might perceive different aspects as more pertinent, depending on whether they are initiating or scaling an online or offline business. Conversely, more developed regions such as the USA or Europe might face variations of similar problems, albeit with nuanced differences.

Delving Deeper into IT Integration Challenges

As we venture further, we will explore the intricacies of integrating IT solutions, a common stumbling block for companies striving for seamless operations. Understanding and navigating these challenges is a crucial step in fostering growth and achieving operational excellence in the world of online commerce.
In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the specific challenges and potential solutions, which are more or less universal.

Challenge 1: Insufficient IT Expertise

A classic dilemma faced by many existing commerce companies is lack of sufficient IT expertise, which can have a negative impact on the company. This deficiency often reflects on a limited understanding of how to effectively build and integrate IT solutions into their existing operations.

Case Studies

Traditional Commerce Retailers: Many have embarked on transformation projects that span years, a risky venture in a rapidly changing world where they might lose their competitive edge.

Retailers and Delivery Services: The current surge in delivery services highlights the struggle the company faces to integrate online and offline experiences seamlessly, especially in an online commerce.


  • Building In-House Expertise: While some companies attempt to build their expertise without external help, this path is time-consuming and fraught with issues, including the risk of losing ground to competitors who manage to solve the problem faster.

  • Partnering with Experts: A more efficient approach might be to find the right partner to accelerate the development of internal expertise and team building. This partnership can provide an immediate boost by implementing ready-made solutions while simultaneously developing an internal team to assimilate the expertise. This strategy can be further divided into two paths:
  1. Implementing a Partner's Solution: Where the partner provides a solution that significantly streamlines operations.
  2. Hybrid Approach: Starting with a partner and gradually building internal expertise, which seems to be the most optimal solution from a practical standpoint.

Challenge 2: Long Time to Market

In the fast-paced ecommerce business environment of today, a long time to market can be a significant hindrance. To maintain a competitive edge, companies need to test hypotheses and deliver features faster than their competitors.

Case Study

Our client, a leader in their field, approached us with one of the problems: even minor changes or initiatives turned into projects lasting three months or more. This sluggish pace is unacceptable in 2023, where rapid testing and decision-making are vital.

Underlying Issues

  • Legacy Systems: Companies, especially in more developed markets like North America and Europe, often have large, inflexible legacy systems with limitations due to their age. These systems are complex and hard to modify, resulting in a long cycle of deliveries.

  • Poor Processes and Weak Teams: Even with a strong team, the absence of well-defined processes can lead to unpredictability in timelines and inefficiencies.

Strategies to Overcome

  • Transitioning from Legacy Systems: A typical strategy is to transition from legacy systems to more modern, lightweight resolutions. This transition can include a series of projects aimed at replacing the old system with a more modern, flexible system. However, it's essential to approach this transition with caution, breaking it down into smaller, manageable pieces to avoid problems like the race between the old and new systems.

  • Engaging External Experts: Bringing in external experts can help streamline processes and strengthen teams. However, the right approach to selecting experts is crucial. Experts should be deeply involved in the process and accountable for specific results, rather than just providing advice.

Challenge 3: The High Cost of Solutions.

In the dynamic world of IT, finding cost-effective solutions can often be a significant obstacle. There are several factors contributing to this dilemma, including slow adaptation rates or high initial setup costs. Here, we explore the potential reasons behind high costs and suggest strategies to mitigate them, so that commerce companies can scale efficiently without sacrificing quality.

Typical Issues

  • Slow Pace of Change and High Costs: Frequently, the lack of rapid change can have a negative impact of increased expenses for each feature, stemming from the extended duration required. Commerce companies need to strike a harmonious equilibrium between swiftness and expenditure to prevent costs from spiralling out of control.

  • Underutilizing Remote Work Opportunities: Many companies are not fully leveraging the benefits of working with remote employees, especially from regions where the cost of labour is significantly lower. For example, LATAM, MENA, and others.

Moving Forward

It is vital to consider the efficiency that remote working brings to the table. By focusing on results and hiring experienced employees from different parts of the world, companies can actually save costs in the long run and ensure high productivity levels.

Investing in the Right Solutions

Sometimes, companies hesitate to invest in better solutions due to the perceived high costs. However, this reluctance can severely limit their ability to scale in the market. It's crucial to understand when to invest in solving problems, especially if the only thing holding back growth is these issues.
For unverified hypotheses or new product lines, it's advisable to first conduct experiments on more affordable platforms to gauge the market response. This way, companies can make informed decisions about where to invest their resources for maximum returns.
Managing the costs of solutions is a delicate balance between investing in quality and maintaining budgetary constraints. Companies need to be strategic in their approach, utilising remote work opportunities effectively and investing wisely to ensure sustainable growth.

Challenge 4: Inefficient Operations

In the fast-paced IT sector, the inefficiency in operations can often be a major drain on resources and finances. This section delves into the underlying issues that contribute to this inefficiency and proposes strategies to streamline operations, thereby saving time and money.

The Hidden Costs of Manual Labor

Many online commerce companies overlook the issues of substantial costs associated with relying on manual labour for tasks that could easily be automated. For instance, some companies still manually manage their courier fleets, assigning orders and calculating routes by hand. This consumes a considerable amount of time and necessitates the hiring of extra staff to manage these tasks. Automating such processes can reduce labour costs, especially in countries where labour is expensive.

The Disconnect Between Solution Creators and Users

A prevalent issue in the industry is that many solutions are developed by companies that do not have firsthand experience in operational management. These companies often theorise solutions without testing and optimising them in real operational environments. This can lead to solutions that are not aligned with the actual needs of the businesses.
For example, many solutions available in the market are overly complicated, with numerous buttons and unclear processes. These solutions often require employees to make decisions at every step, consuming time and reducing efficiency.

Challenge 5: The Legacy System Integration Dilemma

In the dynamic world of the ecommerce industry, integrating new systems with existing Legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems poses significant issues, especially for online commerce companies that have been in the market for a long time. They often rely on legacy for their operations. These systems, although outdated, are deeply ingrained in the company's processes, making it hard to transition away from them. The challenge lies in integrating new, more efficient systems without disrupting the existing workflow.

The Integration Challenge

The integration of new systems with legacy ERPs requires meticulous planning and a well-thought-out approach. While connectors and other tools are available to facilitate this process, the current market offerings don’t cover all needs. For example, many ecommerce retailers have problems such as updating settings in real-time to prevent overselling on their websites, a seemingly basic requirement that is often not met.
For instance, in our experience in London, we frequently encountered situations where a part of the ordered items would not be delivered, especially with groceries. These kinds of issues stem from the lack of real-time information on the actual stock available, leading to a significant dent in customer loyalty. Imagine the disappointment of a customer who receives only pasta without the accompanying meat they ordered to prepare a meal. Such experiences can severely tarnish a brand's reputation.

Strategies for Successful Integration

Addressing the legacy system integration problems is no easy feat. There is no universal solution. The process needs to be broken down into manageable phases, with a clear roadmap for integration. It is crucial to design the architecture in advance and anticipate potential issues.
Moreover, it is advisable to carry out modifications on the side of the new system rather than the legacy ERP to avoid a prolonged and potentially unpredictable process. This approach ensures that the integration process is more streamlined and less prone to complications.

Challenge 6: A Lack of Focus on Mobile Platforms

Despite the surge in mobile usage, many online commerce companies still focus primarily on web stores, missing out on the potential that mobile platforms offer. While this approach might be feasible for small companies, medium to large enterprises stand to benefit significantly from a mobile-centric approach.
The statistics speak for themselves - According to Statista, the share of mobile ecommerce in all ecommerce has been steadily increasing, up from just 56% in 2018 to an expected 62% in 2027.

The Underlying Issues

The primary issue seems to be the absence of market leaders offering comprehensive solutions for mobile application development. Online commerce companies are often left with two options: resorting to makeshift solutions that offer subpar performance or investing in the development of custom applications, which can be both expensive and time-consuming.
In addition, maintaining a custom application, especially if it's native to iOS and Android, requires substantial resources. Ecommerce companies might find themselves allocating upwards of $10,000 per month merely for upkeep only the app and not including other tools, a cost that can be prohibitive for many.

The Way Forward

To solve these problems, a retailer needs to rethink its strategy. Instead of treating mobile platforms as a secondary channel, giving them attention can provide a competitive edge in the business landscape.
Here are some steps ecommerce companies can take:
  • Research and Development: Invest in research to understand the unique demands of mobile users and develop solutions that cater to their needs.

  • Collaboration with Experts: Collaborate with experts who specialise in mobile platform development to create a seamless and efficient mobile experience.

  • Utilising Ready-Made Solutions: Consider utilising ready-made solutions that can be customised to suit the company's requirements, offering balance between cost and quality.

  • Continuous Improvement: Once the mobile platform is established, you can focus on continuous improvement to enhance user experience and keep up with the evolving market trends.

Challenge 7: A Lack of Analytics

In the modern online commerce business landscape, steering clear of analytics is akin to navigating uncharted waters without a compass. Yet, we find that a significant number of companies are facing this challenge. The axiom, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it," rings truer than ever, especially when it comes to IT metrics and various business KPIs.

The Problem at Hand

The issue is not just about having a system in place, but having a system that can seamlessly integrate and channel necessary data to where it can be analysed and utilised for business improvements. This encompasses a range of metrics, from response times to product conversion rates.

The Underlying Causes

The root of this problem often lies in the inability of the existing IT solutions to channel these vital data points to where they can be effectively analysed and used for decision-making processes. This creates a major gap, leaving online commerce businesses to operate somewhat in the dark, unable to fully grasp the nuances of their operations and, consequently, unable to make data-driven improvements.
As we ponder on the next steps, it becomes apparent that a thoughtful approach to integrating analytics into the business model is not just beneficial but essential.


Navigating the complexities of IT in the traditional commerce and ecommerce sectors requires more than just software solutions due to various limitations. Given the unique challenges these industries face, from procurement to evolving product lines, it's essential to collaborate with seasoned experts. Quality consulting, which offers actionable advice and ensures results, is paramount. Engaging with specialists can include tailored strategies to achieve specific small or large goals and address issues, ensuring accountability and success.