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At the center of this digital transformation are the IT departments of retail organisations, tasked with ensuring around-the-clock availability of business-critical services, which are supported by a broad portfolio of applications and hardware.
Some of the challenges faced, followed by solutions include:
Firefighting incidents that affect retail operations
Retail businesses operate a complex network of servers, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, and other IT assets.
Retail businesses also have an abundance of consumer data stored in their servers that is used to provide personalised recommendations, and this data is vulnerable to security breaches.
Without a proactive incident management strategy, retail businesses will grind to a halt since POS terminals and internet-enabled retail transactions have become the mainstay both online as well as in brick-and-mortar stores.
Managing a multitude of IT assets
Day-to-day operations include handheld devices, such as smartphones and tablets for scanning barcodes, POS terminals for processing payments, and routers and modems for networking operations.
IT departments need to ensure peak performance of these IT assets while keeping tabs on risks, costs, their budget, and forecasted IT purchases.
Without a well-defined ITAM strategy, retailers find it difficult to track assets over their entire life cycle, i.e, from purchase till disposal.
Overseeing IT projects across franchises
Large-scale retail businesses operate numerous physical stores across continents, in addition to e-commerce portals.
An effective ITSM solution helps major retailers roll out changes and undertake IT projects without losing track of dependencies, ensuring a uniform IT infrastructure that’s easier to govern.
Delivering enterprise services efficiently
Retail businesses are dependent on other enterprise services besides IT. These include facilities, payroll, HR, and finance. These enterprise departments facilitate retail operations such as managing warehouses, replenishing stock, and organising the retail workforce.
Most retailers use disparate channels and tools for managing their enterprise support. This may lead to increased costs and difficulty coordinating teams to fulfill retail services.
Mitigating the impact of COVID-19
Challenges abound when retailers try to enforce social distancing guidelines in physical stores, giving rise to more digital transactions.
The pivot towards digital delivery of retail services has increased the strain on IT departments, which are tasked with ensuring the high availability of remote IT operations.
Watch this video on how ManageEngine IT software can improve the Wholesale and Retail Trade industry.