In the last decade, the retail landscape has undergone a sea change. The retail industry in India is witnessing an increased focus on leveraging technology across functions of merchandising, supply chain, store operations, Omnichannel operations, customer engagement and even corporate functions (finance, and HR, to name a few).
Th e global retail economy is growing at an exponential pace and technology continues to act as an enabler for most enterprises. From social, mobile, analytics and cloud apps to location-based coupons that pop up when we walk into a store, to virtual dressing rooms, retail is poised to never be the same again. The Innovative, new-age retailer has really started recognising the potential of information and communications technology for marketing, engaging and nurturing his customers.
Th e dynamic nature of retail as a sector makes us look at retail holistically. Digital Darwinism – the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt – is the fate that is now threatening most organizations in almost every industry. Because of this phenomena, businesses are not only competing for today but also for the unforeseeable future. Organisations are beginning to reinvent themselves before someone else replaces them.
A new breed of ‘Disruptive’ retailers, looking to remodel the very raison d’être of retail and its products and services, is fast emerging as a result of Digital Darwinism
To face these challenges and defy them with ease, retail organisations are turning to their technology officers. With the age of Big Data truly upon us, information management has spawned the birth of a new C-suite member – the Chief Information Offi cer (CIO). With information being king, it is no wonder then that the CIO is being increasing looked up to lead strategic planning and innovation in the retail industry.
In the June issue of IMAGES Retail, we speak to CIOs of leading retail houses in the country and take a quick look at the their evolving role, and their plans for the digital age.