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Business Value and Agility in the Retail Industry By @Automic | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

Automation will include the megatrends of cloud, mobility, Big Data and the Internet of Things

Business Value and Agility in the Retail Industry

By Chris Boorman

Automation drives innovation. Fact. Innovative companies move with speed and agility to build capabilities, differentiate themselves, automate their processes and rapidly meet customer demand.

As Gartner predicted in 2011, "The IT organization of the future must coordinate those who have money, those who deliver the services, those who secure the data, and those consumers who demand to set their own pace for us of IT."1  In short, business automation drives the IT factory of the future. So what is that factory of the future?

Certainly it will include the megatrends of cloud, mobility, Big Data and the Internet of Things, which we previously explored in, The Future of Retail and What it Means for CIOs. These are hugely important topics that will disrupt all industries. The winners will be those companies that leverage automation to drive agility and deliver fast business value.

This is particularly relevant for retailers looking to engage with their customers. The key questions I believe needing to be answered are whether such organizations are equipped to meet fast-paced customer expectations, and whether speed or cost are more important?

Our new global study reveals there is a mismatch between consumer expectations and retailers' engagement plans. We found that 53% of retailers believe that speed of service is the top priority for customers when they engage with the organization online. However, 62% of consumers cite the price of goods and services as the number one priority.

With Christmas nearly upon us, and customers more digitally connected than ever, retailers must understand what is most important to their customers. Retailers are now faced with a dilemma - how to drive business value and agility in the face of customer demands. I believe that Automation is the only way to achieve this, as it drives efficiency to free up IT resources and enables them to work on new innovative offerings with their business partners. Failure to automate in an increasingly competitive marketplace will impact competitive advantage.

Innovation is as important to consumers as it is to retailers: 89% of consumers say it is important that the organizations they buy from are innovative in the goods/services they offer, while 83% believe it is important that the organizations are innovative in the way they interact with the customer. Similarly, 84% of consumers state that their use of an organization would decline if the company failed to embrace technological advancements. Even more consumers (94%) state that their use of an organization would decline if they failed to meet their needs as a customer.

We know that automation transforms what any business can be capable of. Successful organizations utilize automation to move with speed and agility, and respond rapidly to consumer needs. Automation is the most critical business imperative in today's always-on world. Automating your business enables you to dynamically and proactively engage with customers - ultimately driving your competitive advantage and bottom line.

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Automic, a leader in business automation, helps enterprises drive competitive advantage by automating their IT factory - from on-premise to the Cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things.

With offices across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Automic powers over 2,600 customers including Bosch, PSA, BT, Carphone Warehouse, Deutsche Post, Societe Generale, TUI and Swisscom. The company is privately held by EQT. More information can be found at www.automic.com.