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As my previous blog entry discussed, retailers remain challenged to ever increase return on investment against their IT spend and it is seen as one of the main challenges for CIO’s in 2016. Against this fiscal backdrop, business stakeholders are demanding capabilities to enhance and personalize communication with their customer base that align with both current demographics and technical capabilities. Alignment of these two realities requires a clear business capability enablement roadmap aligned to a concrete IT infrastructure evolution.
Effectively a retailer can choose one of two general options when planning a system landscape to support business capability enablement. One may choose to look at sets of business requirements individually and select both hardware and software that are deemed to best meet each capability. In this scenario data sets, landscape architecture, and business processes can – and often do – remain separate across different divisions in large organizations. On the other hand, one may choose to select hardware and software that best meets the needs of all business stakeholders at an aggregate level. Here, one leverages commonality across data sets, infrastructure and business processes to simplify, consolidate and standardize business capability enablement. In contrasting these two options it becomes apparent that the latter approach provides the best alignment between business capability enablement and return on investment.
At /N SPRO, our Consumer Industries team has managed implementations that have demonstrated a retailer can find a balance between business capability enablement and return on IT investment. This balance is achievable through the utilization of the SAP suite of products and begins with an Omni-Customer data foundation established in SAP CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in conjunction with SAP HANA (High-Performance Analytics Appliance) and CAR (Customer Activity Repository). Properly constructed and enabled, this technical foundation provides a single source of truth […]