Removing barriers to acquisition
The biggest barrier to growth is the traditional ‘device-based’ store IT strategy, which can be summed up by: “You need to deliver a new application, then install a new device at each store.” This widely accepted logic has been the bedrock of store IT for decades. As a result, it has led to a proliferation of in-store IT hardware and software, escalating IT costs and a nightmare for maintenance and upgrades. A modern approach that negates this issue is the virtualizing of all in-store devices – otherwise known as a software defined store architecture. It involves implementing automated, virtualized servers in-store. Once that initial step is taken, new needs are met by simply deploying new applications on those servers.
If you have a software defined architecture in at least some of your existing store network, then a golden image of that solution can be created centrally, and then deployed within stores nationally or globally with minimal onsite intervention across the new stores you are acquiring. Post-merger integration lag and cost is effectively minimized, and IT once again becomes a business strategy enabler.
The same approach applies for acquisitions involving differing POS infrastructures. By taking a software defined approach you can remove the need for a major POS hardware refresh.
Research conducted by Zynstra has revealed that retailers with an acquisition or POS refresh strategy experience a significant reduction in new store integration costs, as well as the ability to deploy IT integration in a time-efficient manner.