Adapt or perish, now more than ever, is the retailer’s imperative. Stores face new customer expectations, new competitive business models, and new technology options of a scale not experienced since the first birth of the internet. Those who innovate, invest and engage customers in new ways will prosper. Those who do not will get left behind.
Information technology sits at the heart of this imperative. IT must be managed as a business strategy enabler and be evaluated on how cost effectively it provides a long-term platform for the delivery of the in-store strategy, not simply on how it can fix the latest fire drill.
In a fast-changing retail environment, when new technology innovations, and new demands for business innovation, are coming thick and fast, taking a device by device approach to implementing new applications in-store is unsustainable. Even in a stable environment this approach leads to ever increasing hardware and support costs and unacceptable lead times.
What’s required is a more strategic approach to long term IT investment planning and an understanding that multiple new store workloads, applications and lines of business will be needed in the foreseeable future. This blog post explores how retailers can benefit from moving to a Software Defined Store IT strategy.