CIOs are Championing Digital 2.0 to Shape the Future of Retail

CIOs are Championing Digital 2.0 to Shape the Future of Retail

Retail sector is focusing on Hyper-personalization and contactless experience when navigating the new normal.

In the last couple of years, enterprises witnessed disruption and changes which were unprecedented. However, the pandemic that hit the world in early 2020, has changed the very definition of change itself. CIOs are aggressively planning their Digital 2.0 strategy to meet their short-term and long-term goals.

While giving more thrust towards modernizing their IT infrastructure, most IT leaders, across sectors, are leveraging the Cloud in the current scheme of things as they compete to thrive in this new remote work environment.

For example, the retail sector has been forced to make decisions and adjustments on a daily basis and sometimes, on an hourly, basis depending upon where and what to sell.  With most companies in the retail sector migrating to the Cloud, CIOs feel that Cloud plays a significant role both in terms of scalability and the modularity it can provide to the IT architecture and the speed that they are looking for to scale up their business.

“The cloud has become an essential part of continuing business and is the key to unlocking organizational growth. Worldwide spending on public cloud services is even forecast to grow 18.4 percent in 2021,” says a report.

People are moving more towards a multi-cloud strategy, to pick and choose wherever the best technology and solutions are available. “We definitely see a lot of value coming out from our presence on the Cloud and we see a very strong roadmap in collaboration with our cloud partner on that,” informs a CIO of a retail enterprise.

With the ever-changing consumer behaviour especially in the B2C space, another area of focus for the retail sector is interactive commerce - video commerce and voice commerce - where they can interact with the customer on a real-time basis.

In the pre-pandemic era, predominantly, the trend was in the physical retail side. With the changing buying pattern – mostly online – in the current scenario, IT heads are going in for data modernizations and creating hyper-personalization around customer experience to increase sales.

Customer expectations have changed significantly in the last year. The primary focus of the customer was always the touch and feel and the experience inside the store. That has completely changed for offline retailers.

The key focus now for everyone is how to make it contactless and still try to keep that essence of hyper-personalization for the customer in the place. To meet the expectations of today’s customers, most retailers have started working on the technologies that will help do that.

“Obviously, e-commerce is one way to do that, and creating an omnichannel kind of behaviour is the way to go forward for everyone. Now, we are looking at how can we bring the mind to market significantly down. Our key focus area now is how can we use the ready infrastructure for such initiatives because everything that we build for a customer requires something scalable in the background, extremely fast, and can deliver as per the promise that we make to our customers. And that’ll be possible when we start moving to Cloud,” said another CIO from an offline retail enterprise.

Data modernization and analytics become that much more important for the retail sector because it also impacts the supply chain, which, hitherto, struggled to deal with enormous volumes of data at scale at near real-time speeds. No doubt, moving to Cloud is the answer as Clouds give you that ability.

Beyond just using the infrastructure capabilities of the Cloud, CIOs must be able to use that to come up with newer innovations and solutions that help solve many problems.  With customers becoming more and more digital-savvy, the retail business is going to change significantly for everyone.