As retail’s digital transformation continues at a breakneck pace, savvy retailers understand that the key to their future success lies in data management.
The technology and tools that work together behind the curtain to gather and process insights from customer behavior, purchasing trends and intent — along with hundreds of other inputs — must speed those insights to retailers and marketers quickly to help them immediately pivot, if necessary, and gain an edge on the competition.
For those reasons, and more, data infrastructure managers and IT teams should regularly evaluate the performance of their data stack, optimize performance and management wherever possible and upgrade according to a strategic schedule that aligns with business goals.
Here are three data infrastructure tools and technologies retailers should pay close attention to — and, certainly, should consider deploying if they’re not already a part of the current stack.
Automation Makes Room for Retail Innovation
Cloud-based database and automation tools free IT teams focus their energy on solving business challenges and mission-critical operations rather than repetitive, low-level tasks that eat up valuable time.
Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud product is one tool that allows IT managers to automate patching, tuning and optimizing, software updates and other maintenance tasks.
Storage and Disaster Recovery Tools Offer Flexibility
Cloud-based storage and disaster recovery (DRaaS) tools offer greater flexibility for future workloads and the ability to quickly scale if needed.
Hybrid cloud storage is ideal for organizations with frequently accessed data and those requiring backups and long-term archives of structured or unstructured data. It’s also unaffected by outages stemming from local natural disasters, hardware failures or other causes. Azure Cloud Storage and Azure + Backup Exec are two options that include valuable CDW Services along with the reliability and security of cloud-based backups in Microsoft Azure.
Data Analytics Make Digital Transformation a Reality
Data analytics plays a critical role in any digital transformation strategy, according to CDW’s “Digital Solutions Advance Inventory Management” white paper. Data-driven insights empower retailers to drive greater efficiencies, deliver superior customer experience, optimize investments and identify new revenue streams. In particular, analytics are an important tool for inventory tracking and forecasting, keeping store shelves stocked with the right products, in the appropriate amounts. Data solutions also help retailers come up with new ways to find and retain customers, improve profits on transactions and gain operational efficiencies.
But analytics tools function only as fast as the architecture they run on. Speed and processing power can be gained quickly through hybrid cloud and on-premises data center solutions. Hybrid cloud offerings include Microsoft Azure and VMware vCloud Air, among many others. Leveraging both cloud and on-premises tools allows teams to take a more strategic approach to high-volume data management.