Information will be the basis for competitive advantage so make it everything you do.
A decisive theme conveyed during a number of sessions at NRF for retailers has been the demand for knowledge automation. Ginni Rometty set the tone with a call to arms during the IBM Keynote. Whether it’s uncovering new sources of information or finding innovative ways to use the data you already have – it will be a game-changer for retailers to better connect, engage and create value for the consumer. There are a number of business drivers prompting retailers to respond, but one of the biggest driving forces in the industry right now is the Internet of Things (IoT). The predictable pathways of information are changing rapidly as the physical world is inundated with devices and sensors for tracking and understanding consumer behaviors. From smartphones and tablets to wearable technology and even home appliances – everything is connected and communicating. In fact, Gartner estimated IoT applications to have a total economic impact of $1.9 trillion by 2020.
Cisco couldn’t have described the future of IoT any more accurately. It is becoming the Internet of Everything so retailers need to “get more connected”. During yesterday’s session at NRF, “Internet of Everything: What’s the Art of the Possible in Retail?” statistics showed that more than $179.6B in retail value was at stake and essentially anything is possible with the Internet of Everything (IoE).
5 Key Areas of Opportunity for IoE
- Improved Customer Experience
- Supply Chain/Logistics Efficiency
- Employee Efficiency
- Asset Utilization
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So what will serve as the foundation for capitalizing on the IoE opportunity?
Retailers will need to be able to sense and connect new information (not to mention have better governance over and management of existing data sources). A single platform for fusing sensors and data from various sources like tags, social, mobile, text and video will be critical for success with IoE.
3 Tech Trends Driving the IoE Economy
Ginni Rometty talked about three big macro trends in technology that will not only help retailers explore the possibilities of IoE, but they’ll deliver speed-to-market, allow for business agility and enhance decision-making capabilities.
- Big Data
- Cloud Computing
- Cognitive Systems
We’re excited to see what the future holds as retailers make investments in these key areas to help build long-term business strategies around knowledge automation.