February - 2016 - issue > CIO Insights

Deepening Personalization of Products and Experiences

Giri Durbhakula
VP & CIO-National Pen
Monday, February 1, 2016
Giri Durbhakula
The cost of delivering services via the internet as dropped to almost zero, and the potential to personalize products and services is ever growing. Technology is enabling personalization of even physical products such as books, clothing, laptops, promotional items, and sporting goods and many others. Personalization is the key to our business and industry - every product that leaves one of our warehouses is customized and personalized. So, this needs to show well in a multichannel manner to appeal and capture the interest of our customers. Developing a genuinely personalized offering equires us (and our solution partners) to have deep understandings of customers and the different elements of product and service experiences that they may want personalized. Furthermore, leveraging massive amounts of data in the right manner to derive the insights needed presents a great challenge.

Having a 360 view of the customers is a key component that very few organizations have right today, which is why it's so challenging. This requires multi-pronged approach involving governance, stewardship (functional and technical), prioritization of issues/projects, and the right data tools for transformation, cleansing, deduping, metadata, visualization, analytics, reporting and much. One more thing, you're never done on this -it's a continuous improvement and work in progress.

Technologies that provide the Competitive Edge

The emergence of technology has resulted in manifold of opportunities of cost-effective one-to one relationships with the customers. However, technologies such as Personalization, Forecasting Accuracy, Predictive analytics, Digital platform to scale with business, Inventory visibility (including ATP), Fulfillment tools and Data Management(Analytics, PIM, MDM, and Customer) will further help to meet customer demands and attract, retain customers and grow relationships on a daily basis.

"What technology solution do I wish I had?" -Cost affordable big data solutions with managed services that offer the benefits of cloud based solutions, with the flexibility of scalable big data solutions and the concept of flex resources on demand for SMB enterprises like ours that don't have "ginormous" budgets will have a HUGE impact on our industry. (For that matter I'm sure larger enterprises would benefit too)

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