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IT pros in retail must examine digital transformation strategies

20 Jul 2016

It is essential IT decision makers in the retail sector reexamine their business strategies as consumers increasingly come to expect convenience and ease, according to analyst firm IDC.

IDC’s MaturityScape: Digital Transformation in Retail report helps IT executives in retail identify improvement areas for digital transformation.

"Digital transformation requires a top-down study and redesign of business strategy/leadership, business processes, human engagement (workforce and others), information monetisation, and technology,” explains Leslie Hand, vice president, IDC Retail Insights.

“It is more critical than ever for retailers to adapt experiences delivered to ever-changing consumer needs and to be agile and innovative, leveraging all of the advantages of current-state digital systems," says Hand.

Robert Eastman, research manager, Retail Omni-Channel IT Strategies at IDC Retail Insights, says IT professionals in retail must recognise and drive digital transformation.

“Retailers dealing with legacy, disconnected, siloed systems have latencies and speeds that cannot support modern commerce, nor do most of the legacy systems allow retailers to quickly launch the types of services that customers today are expecting,” he says.

“At a time when customer expectations are rising and customers are more digitally fluent and digitally equipped than ever before, customers are expecting that their shopping experience will be easy, convenient, frictionless, and available anytime everywhere," Eastman explains.

The report details five disciplines of digital transformation — Leadership DX, Omni-Experience DX, WorkSource DX, Operating Model DX, and Information DX — so retailers can accelerate their adoption of these disciplines, and realise the benefits. The IDC MaturityScape for digital transformation in retail will enable retailers to:

  • Assess their overall level, or stage, of digital transformation competency and adoption
  • Have a set of talking points and retail industry insights to guide the conversations among business, digital, and technology executives in their organisation
  • Identify areas of opportunity in their ecosystem for digital transformation
  • Understand the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation
  • Start creating the road map and framework for a digital transformation
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