Top 3 Priorities IT Leaders in Retail Must Focus on When Adopting Advanced Tech

Retailers can enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and drive sustainable growth by addressing key priorities.

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  • [Image source: Krishna Prasad/MITSMR Middle East]

    Retailers today face relentless pressure to stay competitive, drive innovation, and elevate their market positions. As a result, IT leaders are increasingly tasked with enabling organizations to harness technologies for sustainable growth. 

    According to Info-Tech Research Group’s latest report, Priorities for Adopting an Exponential IT Mindset in the Retail Industry, IT leaders in the retail sector urgently need to integrate advanced technologies such as AI, cloud computing, and data analytics. 

    Addressing these critical priorities can help the industry overcome current obstacles and unlock new avenues for growth and innovation.

    The report underscores the increasing customer demand for personalized services and transparency. However, many organizations need help with the challenges of delivering on these demands due to complex and costly legacy infrastructures. Emphasizing the need for innovation, the firm stresses that organizations must recognize IT leaders as valued business partners to embrace exponential technologies.

    Adopting Exponential IT within the retail industry to combat disruptions cannot be overstated, especially for IT leaders. Speed is imperative, and IT leaders and organizations risk falling behind if they do not adopt new technologies fast enough.

    “Adopting an Exponential IT mindset is about being prepared for growth by evaluating existing operations and organizational structures and taking steps to modernize them,” says Donnafay MacDonald, research director at Info-Tech Research Group MacDonald. “Our research identifies foundational capabilities and essential steps to adopt an 

    Exponential IT mindset to help organizations prepare.”

    The report highlights critical priorities for retailers, including developing robust IT infrastructure, seamlessly integrating advanced technologies, and cultivating a flexible workforce capable of leveraging new digital tools. These strategies are essential for fostering innovation, improving productivity, and maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

    Here are the three key priorities for IT leaders to focus on when adopting an exponential IT mindset. These recommended priorities are:

    Transform Infrastructure and Applications Into Utilities: Leverage demand-driven supply chain networks for flexibility and real-time decision-making capabilities. This approach also includes adopting cloud computing for applications and restructuring existing applications as part of digital modernization.

    Treat Data as a Product: Data must be treated as a product with a value proposition. Organizations can increase productivity and gain a competitive edge by evolving data ownership, increasing cross-functional influence and collaboration, and marketing and selling data assets internally and externally.

    Let AI Take Over Core Operations: With ongoing advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, there will be significant progress toward higher automation. IT leaders must prepare for the automation of infrastructure and operations with a clear IT strategy and implement new technologies.

    The report explains that the retail industry will struggle to remain competitive without adopting AI to support business operations. 

    Leveraging AI and automation can significantly enhance efficiency and generate real-time insights, enabling organizations to meet evolving business needs and maintain a competitive edge.

    By aligning IT initiatives with organizational goals and fostering a culture of innovation, retailers can overcome barriers to digital transformation. 

    Customer Centricity Summit, hosted by MIT Sloan Management Review Middle East, will take place on September 18th-19th, 2024. It will offer a lens into the future of branding, where enduring relationships with customers are cultivated through trust, authenticity, and value. Click here to register for the Customer Centricity Summit.


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