Retail CTO´s, CDO´s and CIO´s are under more pressure than ever to drive retail innovation. It is not only about preparing stores and organisations for a post-COVID world, but also addressing the underlying long-term needs for organizational and in-store digitalization. Decisions need to be taken in an ever-changing market full of uncertainty.
It has not always been like this. In the past an investment that did not play out as planned could cause headache for those behind it. Criticism from the organization could imply that not investing was better than taking risks. It was in this era that the classic term “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” was coined. It implied that taking risks could ultimately lead to you losing your job.
Fast forward to today, and things could not be more different. Today´s mantra is more in line with “innovate or die”. CTO´s, CDO´s and CIO´s of retail brands are expected to be champions of innovation. Failure is considered better than not acting at all. The safest option now is to go down the road of digitalization.
The changes in consumer habits following the COVID-pandemic have strengthened the need for innovation and digitalization. The increased demand for services like click & collect has led to significant advantages for those who have effective digital processes for delivering it, and painstaking ad-hoc thinking for those who were not yet there when the pandemic started.
So, when doing nothing is not a safe position at all, how do you flourish? CTO´s, CDO´s and CIO´s need to ensure that the organization and retail stores have the digital infrastructure that is needed not only to meet the current demand for omnichannel services, but also provide a platform for further in-store innovation and enhanced customer experiences.
To put it short, nobody ever got fired for investing in a flexible and scalable platform that can communicate in real-time between the core (chain decision makers) and the edge (the network of stores).
Published June 15, 2021