Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 9 - Page 105

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// their physical assets to keep pace with online offerings. 3. Don’t overlook data security The retail sector continues to be one of the most targeted industries for cyberattacks. Since January 2017, at least 15 retailers have been victims of a cyberattack, including high-profile names such as Adidas and Dixons Carphone.The global exposure of a sporting event like the Tour de France puts everyone involved at risk from any number of cyberattackers looking to share, trade, or manipulate data. Its critical information is protected from these various threats but without compromising the flow of real-time data that makes the event so compelling. The Tour de France employs a next- generation security platform that exclusively operates in the cloud, allowing an almost instant response time to security threats. Another secret to this success is the level of collaboration across the race, with partners and sponsors working closely together to ensure protection is airtight. Responsibility is collective. And this ethos extends across all industries, particularly in retail, where the omnichannel approach is so critical. After all, if a customer doesn’t trust your ecommerce website to keep their details safe, why would they feel inclined to visit your physical store? A retailer cannot abdicate accountability for data security – it’s the entire business that needs to own this responsibility, not just the IT department. Ultimately, it all comes down to owning the customer relationship, whether that’s digital or physical, which in turn, drives a consistent experience. And security and trust play a fundamental role in this relationship. 4. Departmental alignment Within retail, there’s often a big disconnect between the IT function and the rest of the business: all things technical are dealt with in silos by the IT function, which makes it impossible for the wider business to support omnichannel. Over the course of a year, a professional cycling team relies on much more than the riders in the saddles. The logistical operations involved in a race like the Tour de France means everyone has to be working from the same rulebook, whether it’s the drivers ferrying the team around France, the physios dealing with the aches and pains of riders cycling for up to six hours per day, or the caterers keeping everyone fully fuelled during the 21-day tour. This level of collaboration means a professional cycling team is governed much like a business. For many companies, its ecommerce presence sits separate to the main retail function and all too often, a retailer’s website is not treated and managed as a shop, but as a piece of technology – an area invariably dealt with by IT. How can FINAL WORD you foster a true omnichannel approach when there’s no incentive internally to do so? 5. Focus on creating experiences by empowering your employees Telling stories and creating experiences are the ingredients that will ensure the survival and eventual blossoming of our bricks and mortar retail stores. We all know about the big players like Apple, Victoria’s Secret and Ikea, who mix meaningful with immersion, make personalisation accessible and intuitive for everyone and underpin it all with a resonant human touch. In a similar vein, one of the main reasons the Tour de France attracts such a large and varied audience is down to its ability to tell compelling stories. The vast amount of data collected every second means even the most fleeting and subtle tales won’t go untold. The secret to achieving these benchmarks lies with the employees. Retailers need to strike the right balance between the human element of a customer interaction and the technology its staff are using to facilitate that interaction. Technology is meant to be an enabler and a supporting element in the customer relationship, however, it’s starting to become the primary point of delivering information to the customer, often at the loss of that all-important human element. n “ SINCE JANUARY 2017, AT LEAST 15 RETAILERS HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF A CYBERATTACK. INTELLIGENTCIO 105