October 27, 2016
It was not till long ago that the Retail industry had its inhibitions in exploring technology and remain settled with traditional methods of operating with very nominal IT support on-premise. But when this very competitive sector came to face with the revolutionary methods of e-Commerce, there was no shying away from technology.
The digital disruptions keep changing the course of the Retail business which emerges as an integrated ecosystem of Mobile Technologies, Big Data & Analytics, the Cloud, Social Media and the most trending technique for proximity based marketing like the beacons.
Innovations are never ending for information technology support extended by Retail IT outsourcing.
The pursuit of the most conducive technology support by the Retail enterprises is a huge challenge. The endless stream of technology solutions clearly overwhelms the IT departments of this industry and outsourcing emerges as the most practical option to exploit the advantages of technology to remain numero uno in the market.
Models of Engagement for Retail IT Outsourcing
The Retail industry engages with potential partners in most traditional sorts of ways with the chief aims of getting useful technology integrated into their workflows. The Retail outsourcing varies from off-shore or on-shore associations to fixed-price and T&M contracts. Asian countries like India remain at the top of the favorites list for the Retail outsourcing inspite of the myths surrounding the very concept of outsourcing.
Outsourcing to Support the Retail Industry
To remain focused on core business, it is in the interest of the Retail enterprises to outsource information technology related services right from software development to IT infrastructure and data curation.
But the Retail enterprise should consider a few critical points before collaborating with an outsource partner.
Points to Consider before Engaging with Partners
Once identified, the outsource partner is expected to extend support in various areas for the Retail enterprise.
Services for Infrastructure & Data Storages
Outsourcing of core infrastructure like servers, networks and data storages is at the top of the list for the Retail enterprises. Services availed from the Cloud most practical, flexible and cost-effective method of keeping in pace with technology.
Professional Services for Websites & e-Commerce websites
Websites, e-Commerce websites require constant monitoring, revamping and support. Traffic analysis and re-strategizing of content is a continuous process on the websites. e-Commerce websites on the other hand require detailed roll-outs for facilitating ordering, cancellations, payments and security.
Business App Development
Apps are trending across industries and domains. Though they look like a very simple idea to implement, it requires a combination of domain knowledge and most modern technology to deliver an appropriate app. Integrating it into the enterprise solutions is a different ball game altogether.
The Challenges for IT Outsource Partner for Retailers
The outsourcing partners need to recognize the specific challenges coming up to cater to technology support & enhancements required for the Retail enterprises.
The Expectations from Retail IT Outsourcing
Sensitive information about the enterprise policies get discussed at length with the outsourcing partners. Data & private information related to customers is also made known to the outsourcer. In this industry with cut -throat competition, it becomes necessary to identify trustworthy teams for association, on-site or off-site.
Compatible & Amicable Team Members
The outsourcing team needs to be proficient in both technology & domain knowledge. Only technical expertise would never suffice to achieve impeccable systems. Besides subject finesse, the teams need to have the perfect attitude for fruitful collaborations.
Long Term Commitments
The retailer systems are bound to adapt to technology and adapt periodically. A long-term commitment from the outsourcing partners keeps the retailer assured of being in safe hands and getting the perfect inputs related to inclusions or exclusions from the IT ecosystem. A long term association also means that the outsource partner understands the KPIs of the business and prove to be a value addition in keeping them on the right track.
Measuring Effectiveness of the Outsource Partner– The Questions to be Asked
To keep the outsource partner association under constant scrutiny, it becomes important for the Retail enterprise to keep evaluating certain key parameters post implementation of the system.
The Questions to Be Asked
In a Nutshell
The benefits offered by the offloading Information technology & its services to the experts can no longer be ignored and the Retail industry metamorphoses to make the most of these advantages.
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