SMAC IT departments and CIO's with data

Retail Platform Series
Part 3 of 3
To read part one please click here, to read part two please click here.

Forbes reported “By 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of information will be created every second for every human being on the planet.”

With the rapid amount of data being produced, it’s obvious analytics is the next big thing for enterprises. The sudden shift in data driven decisions creates challenges for CIOs and IT Administrators. Some of the challenges that SDSA’s clients have faced with IT integration of legacy systems are:

· Consumer push back due to privacy concerns
· Growing complexities in securing collected data
· Organizing and understanding large data sets
· Difficulties in modifying and upgrading existing solutions
· Inflexibility and specifications to unique business issues

Even though these challenges seem problematic, it is imperative that enterprises capitalize on IT solutions sooner rather than later due to the fact that these investments have shown to enhance customer experiences and generate brand loyalty. Yet one of the most expensive and difficult initiatives is to integrate the existing systems for analytics. Further, according to Business Technographics, 75% of North America and European IT budgets are spent on merely the operation and maintenance of legacy systems, leaving only 25% to experiment with data friendly solutions.

Furthermore, recent data breaches at Home Depot, Target and other retailers have damaged the trust consumers have for retailers to protect consumer data. Today, 86% of consumers say they would opt into a “Do Not Track” button if it were available and 30% of consumers will pay a 5% surcharge if they could be guaranteed that none of their information would be captured. 1

“It’s hard for retailers to explain to consumers, who are taught to protect their personal information at all costs, why sharing information is mutually beneficial.”

To make matters worse, the sheer amount of information being created poses challenges for security management of data. With 90% of all data in the world today being produced within the last two years,2 enterprises are facing issues figuring out how to organize and analyze the data they collect.

As with all new technology, the opportunities drastically outweigh the challenges it presents and SDSA is making headway in addressing these challenges.

“With SMAC & Big Data come more in-depth information, regarding consumer emotions towards products, services, and branding.”

In the future, IT departments will become more automated, lean, and intelligent, helping to make the world a smarter place. B2C companies are working with leading IT vendors to establish a long term roadmap and tackle challenges together.

In recent case studies, Barnes & Nobel has been cited for its pioneering use of big data and analytics. When Barnes & Noble first began to generate analytics they faced many issues. Marc Parrish, the VP of Retention and Loyalty Marketing said in a recent webinar “We had a series of approximately 13 databases used as data warehouses,” he said. “The excess data generated from separate parts of the company required separate silos for each area.” Once Barnes & Nobel implemented an IT Platform they were able to give authors advice on how to promote books and analyze how well they are converting members.*

Enterprises that embrace SMAC and Big Data will reap the benefits with more productive employees, enhanced operations and more. By welcoming these new technologies and thinking outside the box, retailers can take advantage of the many resources available to them and their employees.

What retail technologies have you and your enterprise implemented?

*Case Study details found by Retail Touch Points

1. Venture Beat
2. Cloud Tweaks

Photo Credit: Propane Fitness

Tolga Cengiz
Tolga Cengiz

Tolga Cengiz is the Business Development Manager who has been with SDSA since 2012. In this role, he is responsible for market assessments; go to market strategy formulation, client engagement, and strategic partnerships.