Big Data

Dec 28, 2017 9:00:00 AM | Retail IT 3 Transformative Global Retail IT Trends to Watch for in 2018

In 2018, look for new trends connected to a more precise use of big data and even more emphasis on talent over tech.

Analysis of retail IT in 2017 brought us the idea that IT is intimately involved with the customer experience, the significance of appealing to mobile-first shoppers, and the vital importance of attracting the right talent to your IT team. 2018 builds on these ideas with new trends connected to a more precise use of big data and even more emphasis on talent over tech.

1. The Continued Proliferation of Big Data

Expanding into the international space requires more data, more data, and more data. Fortunately, modern big data tech is the best it has ever been and only improving. The bottleneck here as you expand globally is not going to be your tech. It will be the various regulations you will run into as you try to do business in different countries.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will become EU law in 2018 will limit your ability to gather data using the techniques you have probably cultivated in your home market. There are regulations in other emerging markets that are created specifically to give local businesses an advantage. To even the playing field, your IT team needs to know how to stay in compliance while continuing to grab the information you need to do business well.

2. A Renewed Focus on Talent Retention

MIT Sloan and Deloitte have affirmed the importance of talent over tech since 2015. This notion will only get more important as technology continues to improve at a faster rate than humans. The elite IT specialists who know how to actually drive the car that your tech builds will only become more scarce. You need to catch these people quickly because everybody wants them. This is where a staffing partner like Kinettix comes in handy.

Talent specialization is also incredibly important in your IT team. However, specialization does not mean a directed, inflexible skill set. Your team should be able to serve you as more than a glorified owner's manual for your CRM software platform. The right IT team will be able to modify your infrastructure based on trends in the international market rather than just react to every new regulation a country decides to create.

3. Incorporating Smart Data Into Analysis

Smart data is the younger big brother to big data. Although the discipline has been criticized for failing to instantly deliver the gold insights it promised circa 2015, technology has finally caught up to speculation. Deep learning, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neuroscience are all now viable techniques that can be incorporated into the ongoing analysis of a business.

What does this mean for your IT team? Well, they now have new, highly vetted data to incorporate into their infrastructure projections. New iterations of this infrastructure can be more precise because the data is certainly more precise. This is only one of the reasons that your IT team should sit in your general strategy meetings — there is no other way to ensure that your business output directly reflects analysis.

If you’re looking to create more space for your company in the globalized business landscape of 2018, then you certainly have some technical requirements to update. However, the major priority for your company should be focused on the talent that is driving your international efforts. Top-quality IT pros are not getting any easier to find, and they are quickly discovering how much they are truly worth.

Finding specialized techs is not your core competency. In the very near future, it may have to be if you do not retain the appropriate partnership. Let Kinettix find the talent that you need while you focus on the larger strategy of building your business in the international space.

New Call-to-action

Chad Mattix

Written By: Chad Mattix

A global IT executive experienced in establishing strategic partnerships for large U.S.-based organizations, Chad Mattix specializes in managed services, contract pricing and negotiation, and the startup and growth of technology services companies. Chad has spent the last 15 years helping large U.S. retailers and U.S.-based IT service providers expand their capabilities across the globe to follow their clients’ expansions. He has developed and completed full entity formations in Brazil and China and has worked with sales pursuit teams in messaging and client-facing presentations. He has also established global alliance and partnership models for multiple global IT organizations. Chad travels around the world to develop and maintain long-term relationships with employees, clients, vendors and partners, which are critical for success.