Innovative Retail Technologies

JUL-AUG 2017

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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T om Schuetz, CIO at hhgregg and Innovative Retail Technologies Edi- torial Advisory Board member, has spent the majority of his career in retail's C-suite and knee-deep in the dras- tic changes facing IT. Here's what Schuetz has to say about digital transformation, multicloud environments, and the ever- evolving role of the CIO. As more retailers undergo a digital transformation, what does this mean for the retail CIO? Schuetz: The digital transformation in retail has meant a watershed of oppor- tunity for the CIO and the IT teams to contribute to both top- and bottom-line growth for the business. The technologies around mobile, cloud, IoT, and real-time analytics have matured to the point that retailers can now effectively string together an enhanced customer journey, reduce transaction friction, and drive increased revenue with an improved customer experience. For example, BI Intelligence cites nearly $50 billion in retail sales in 2016 was influenced by beacon-trig- gered messaging to consumer devices in the moment. The digital transformation continues throughout all areas of the retail business — collaboration tools, enhanced supply chain visibility, and powerful customer analytics. The additive combination of all these technologies will provide for ex- citing times for both IT and the business into the foreseeable future. As enterprises move to the cloud, multicloud environments will be the norm, not the exception. How should retail CIOs prepare for multicloud environments? Schuetz: Considerations for the move to cloud are agility, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. The CIO is probably considering business-adopted cloud environments and internal IT projects that started as "proof-of-concepts," but have evolved into business-critical production systems. As CIOs prepare for management in a multicloud environment, we need to develop an effective strategy to man- age the diverse cloud resources upon which the business depends. These cloud resources — often interconnected with rich APIs and delivered in scaled con- tainers — add a new level of complexity to the environment. The strategies we apply today concerning demand intake, simplification, standardization of data interchange, performance monitoring, and service level metrics do not change how we will approach and manage the cloud — the methods and tools we use will likely change. Some large cloud-hosting vendors are creating tools to allow for intracloud management across the major provid- ers (e.g., AWS, Google, and Microsoft). These tools are not quite there yet, but expect large cloud-hosting providers to start presenting other vendor clouds to the customer for management visibility, provisioning, and performance monitor- ing in the near future. CIOs will want to follow their critical customer data to ensure compliance with regulations (specifically data sovereignty compliance in multinational organiza- tions) as well as employ a common secu- rity model for authentication and access. Controlling access with one standard provisioning tool will ease the ongoing management and improve compliance posture for the organization. The Role Of The Modern CIO Today's retail CIO must be equal parts technologist, trusted advisor, and business co-creator. What's Next Jul-Aug 2017 30 Controlling access with one standard provisioning tool will ease the ongoing management and improve compliance posture for the organization. Tom Schuetz CIO, hhgregg A Q&A WITH ERIN HARRIS AND TOM SCHUETZ I CIO, HHGREGG

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