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Three Trends Impacting Retail Tech Outsourcing in 2016


Information technology outsourcing (ITO), or the strategic hosting and management of technology solutions, services and personnel by a third-party provider, is a popular way for retailers to quickly increase their technological capabilities, and also lower their IT-related capital expenditure.

Jeff Seabloom, managing director at Dallas-based global advisory firm Alsbridge Inc., spoke with Chain Store Age about three trends he sees having a major impact on retail ITO in 2016.

1. Robotic process automation: There may be no other industry more ready and begging for automation than retail, according to Seabloom.

“Automation has an impact on security, supply chain, forecasting and customer-centricity,” he said. “One major area where automation is being applied is in managing IT infrastructure and operations. All of the nastiness of cost management, timelines to market and fast growth market requirements are becoming automated.”

2. Data analytics: The aspeed and intelligence behind data management techniques and capabilities will be hugely disruptive.

“By combining automation and big data/analytics, retailers can understand buying patterns and trends, and be more consumer-centric through more effective loyalty programs, direct marketing campaigns, savings and coupon campaigns and merchandising campaigns,” Seabloom said.

3. Mobility: Add mobility to the mix, and all this results in the ability to deliver a burger to someone who wants it now, or to find the right pair of pants for someone who hates to shop for clothes.

“Imagine the store ‘knowing’ who you are and your buying patterns, and creating a market basket for you to consider based on price, size, style color,” Seabloom added. “Best of all, it knows all this the minute you drive into the lot. How great would that be for the holiday season?”

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