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Report: Target continues internal IT focus


Target Corp. is making a number of aggressive moves to become more self-reliant when it comes to IT development.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest move is the adoption of the DevOps software development strategy. DevOps emphasizes increased cooperation among software engineers and product deployment employees, and also focuses on agile development and testing methods.

While some Target IT employees had been informally utilizing DevOps strategies for a few years, new CIO Mike McNamara has been more formally adopting the approach since he came on board in February. McNamara has even created an internal DevOps incubator called Dojo, and also offered hands-on workshops for senior-level IT executives.

The switch to DevOps falls under Target’s broader $1 billion effort to revitalize its technology infrastructure. Among the benefits DevOps offers is a reduction in need for IT outsourcing, which has also been a major focus of Target this year.

Other steps to reduce the need for IT outsourcing include Target’s recent call for applications to a new retail technology accelerator it will run next year in partnership with technology accelerator TechStars. While companies that participate in the accelerator will not necessarily receive investment from or be acquired by Target, one of the retailer’s stated goals is to learn about quick, innovative development techniques from start-ups.

In addition, Target plans on hiring 1,000 new global technology workers with modern technology skills like agile development, to focus on open-source development of mobile and online tools. Although Target has traditionally outsourced close to half its IT workforce, the retailer wants to bring technology development in-house to better take advantage of proprietary knowledge and applications.

Target seeks to hire about 500 IT workers at its Minneapolis headquarters and 500 at its technology facility in Bangalore, India.

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