CNBC's Jim Cramer knows that playing offense and defense at the same time isn't easy, especially for a business.
"Yet whenever I speak to a truly competitive company, that's exactly what they're doing — playing both offense and defense using the power of digital, using the power of technology. They have no choice; if they don't embrace technology they'll be left behind," the "Mad Money" host said.
That's why Cramer saw Salesforce.com's partnership with Alphabet's Google, which was announced on Monday, as so important.
The combination would pair Salesforce's customer relations management systems with Google's analytics and cloud platforms, giving clients more holistic ways to view customer data.
Cramer said the partnership would benefit retailers that compete with Amazon and would prefer not to pay for Amazon Web Services for their cloud-based needs.
"You don't pay your opponent when you're fighting them tooth and nail, not if you can avoid it," Cramer said. "The problem has been that Amazon Web Services, with its amazing analytics that works seamlessly with Salesforce, really does give you an edge you couldn't find anywhere else, at least not until this Salesforce-Google team-up."
The "Mad Money" host pointed to Monday's reports of Amazon launching its first two furniture brands, a sign that the e-commerce colossus could be moving into the furniture industry.
Cramer said that Amazon Web Services (which also partners with Salesforce) gives those retailers advantages in telling their stories and reaching new customers.
But if Amazon becomes a direct competitor, paying for its services becomes less attractive, particularly with Google offering a similarly effective analytics and marketing platform, he said.
"It's defense and it's offense. And judging by the declines of the stocks in the brick-and-mortar segment of this market ... it seems like not enough companies in that sector have a digital strategy that is strong on both sides of the field," Cramer said.
But companies, especially retailers, with a sound digital strategy now have an alternative to Amazon that could help them maintain their competitive streak against the e-commerce colossus.
"The bottom line is, no matter what the industry, if you own shares in a company that doesn't have not a digital strategy, but a winning digital strategy, your goose is cooked, as the other guys in the sector will set the oven at 500 degrees and burn your stock to a crisp," the "Mad Money" host said.