Wal-Mart, the gigantic discount retail which is able to offer discounts via a well-orchestrated systems-based supply chain, announced it is launching an online marketplace featuring close to a million items from various sources.
Speculation is that this is Wal-Mart's move to capture some of the success Amazon has seen in the online space. While the retail sector suffered through the recent economic downturn, Amazon blazed along with barely a hiccup.
Now, if Wal-Mart really wants to take on Amazon across the board, they should consider an entree into the cloud space, such as that dominated by Amazon Web Services. Amazon essentially took its vast array of IT assets built for its e-commerce operation and turned it into a shared offering for the business IT sector.
Will we eventually see Wal-Mart do the same with its massively expanding IT infrastructure? Wal-Mart Web Services, anyone? (This is a tongue-in-cheek speculation, sort of...)