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December - 2013 - issue > CIO Insights

Success in the Future is 'Glocalisation'

Vinod Bidarkoppa
Director (IT) & CIO-Tesco HSC
Monday, December 9, 2013
Vinod Bidarkoppa
Rising GDP growth, burgeoning population, greater disposable income, and increasing consumer spending are combining to drive the global retail industry. The global retail markets are constantly evolving as the shopping habits of the consumers are changing rapidly while the demand is surging with growing population. We can observe a new phase of global connectivity which is changing the way we source and share ideas. A new wave of creativity has been unleashed where no single country or company has the lead on innovation today. The flow of ideas is multi-directional and the front runners will be those who can take ideas from all over and leverage them in different ways and across different places. There is a huge shift taking place from brick and mortar to online and mobile channels.

Increasing role of Technology in Retail Industry

Technology has opened up new possibilities in retail today. New innovations are taking place at a breakneck speed and retail industry must keep up with the pace. Social media, mobile technology, big data and other upcoming trends are defining and changing the landscape rapidly. In the retail business, it is about executing the multi-channel strategy which can become successful only when technology becomes a key enabler to implement the strategy. Digital technology, in particular smart phones, have become a lifeline offering not just myriad choices, information, and access to bargains but also a new and more affordable channel for entertainment and socializing. Significant progress has to be made in this area by understanding and working to improve the customers' experience by reacting quickly and taking advantage of the technological shifts occurring constantly. Keeping this in mind, TESCO has recently launched the HUDL tablet which hosts all Tesco content - grocery home shopping, general merchandise sales online, loyalty card, music and video streaming services, banking and many more.

Traditionally, retail companies have always dealt with structured relational databases with huge amounts of data and they were not focusing too much on getting the unstructured data into their main stream of analytics. But due to changing trends and rising competition, there are heaps of data being generated; it has now become imperative for enterprises to use big data-derived insights to identify important intelligence like hidden market trends, customer behaviour and others. TESCO's internal social media platforms and expense system internally works on cloud hosted applications. TESCO is always looking to revolutionize offerings on the mobile across platforms and introduce concepts like virtual shopping at airports.

Though retail industry is in the midst of a massive transformation driven by technological advancements, there are several challenges being faced by the retail industry. Following are some of the current challenges and the strategies to win over.

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