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28 April 2015
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IT outsourcing is an effective way of business development in retail

At a time when retailers are focused on solving the problems of attracting customers and increasing their loyalty outsourcing becomes the most convenient way to implement IT strategy. Galina Musina, the director of retail solutions of ICL Services, spoke about the advantages of IT outsourcing in her interview to CNews.

Galina, what are the main IT trends in the Russian retail sector today?

Modern retail trade is a system focused on a customer. Its needs, location, movement and preferences that are closely monitored with the help of known tools — fr om analysis systems in sales to GIS.

The most successful is the retailer who managed to most accurately predict what, wh ere, when and in what format and at what price its buyer will need. In the context of economic uncertainty and growing attention from goods and services providers the buyer is becoming more selective and difficult to predict, and the main task of the retailer is to attract and keep this buyer.

What ways to solve these problems does the IT market offer?

The solution to these problems, of course, is impossible without the use of specialized IT solutions. Today, IT departments of commercial enterprises are more often playing not a support, but a key role in business development and implementation of its strategy (IT as a Strategic Enabler.)

Business is directly dependent on the ability of IT to meet its growing and rapidly changing needs, such as the introduction and improvement of customer relationship management systems; geographic information systems; analysis systems for huge amounts of sales data; media content management systems; protection from fraud; online stores; mobile solutions with the support of gamification and augmented reality, etc.

This, in turn, stimulates the outsourcing of routine IT tasks such as IT infrastructure support. Outsourcing is increasingly considered not as a way to reduce costs, but as an opportunity to free up resources to address the deeply specialized, strategic objectives and implement innovative solutions.

What do retailers usually outsource?

For a long time the IT market have witnessed the trend of outsourcing only some of the least-critical IT functions such as, for example, Service Desk and equipment operational and technical maintenance. As the service quality and process maturity of both retailers and outsourcers increased, more and more IT functions can and have already been transferred.

Retailers see the transfer of full range support of IT infrastructure and IT systems as an opportunity to reduce operating costs and risks. At the same time, of course, the more critical outsourced servers, software and the more sensitive stored data is, the higher are the requirements for an outsourcer to ensure business continuity and data availability.

Find out more on the Cnews website.

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