Cloud Computing for the Fashion Industry

What is the cloud and how does it help the fashion industry?

Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.  Proponents claim that cloud computing allows companies to limit or completely avoid upfront infrastructure costs.  Rather than build their own  infrastructure clothing companies can focus on designing, manufacturing, or retailing clothes and not managing a network of servers.  This technology is transforming the world and helping many industries become more efficient and potentially save money in the process.

In summary, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive.

Cloud computing is also known as 'on-demand computing'.  One way to wrap your head around the concept is to think about it as a kind of Internet-based computing.  If you have access to the internet, you can work with a cloud based service to access shared resources.

Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers rather than have their own servers in their own building. It relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network.  At the foundation of cloud computing is the broader concept of shared services.  Shared resources, data, and other sorts of information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. 

Cloud computing offers clothing, footwear, and accessories businesses many benefits.  It allows you to set up what is essentially a virtual office to give you the flexibility of connecting to your business anywhere, any time. With the growing number of web-enabled devices used in today's business environment (e.g. smartphones, tablets), access to your data is even easier.

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort.

Cloud computing is a major trend transforming the way companies meet their information technology (IT) needs.  This technology helps all industries including the apparel industry.  Cloud computing offers significant new potential for increasing productivity and time-to-market for clothing companies around the world.  One way that garment companies are utilizing this new technology is by using cloud-based Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems, cloud Point of Sale systems, etc.

Cloud POS for Fashion

WFX Cloud PLM

The main enabling technology for cloud computing is virtualization.  Virtualization software separates a physical computing device into one or more "virtual" devices, each of which can be easily used and managed to perform computing tasks.

Technology is doing a fabulous job of boosting productivity and time-to-market for numerous fashion companies.  More importantly, it can help reduce the IT expenses for the apparel industry.

This tech is a work in progress and we look forward to seeing more ways that cloud computing will benefit our industry.

If you want to know more about the Cloud, you can read the “What is the Cloud?" articles on various tech sites.

Mashable The Beginners Guide to the Cloud

Gizmodo What is the Cloud and Where is it?

Recode What is the Cloud?

PC Magazine What is Cloud Computing?

Learn more about technology in the fashion industry.