Flash and retail: Be first, be best or be nowhere

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Mobile, social, analytics and cloud technologies have created a very strong foundation for what’s to come in the cognitive computing era. For retail, cognitive computing has already arrived. It is dramatically transforming the ways we do business and consume products and services, and it is raising client expectations to an all new level.

In a world based on code, data and cognition, retail leaders today face many key challenges:

  • Generating insights from all data to connect with customers in transformative ways
  • Captivating customers by applying real-time understanding of their wants, needs and expectations
  • Developing, launching and continually evaluating new business models and acting on results to optimize investment

This puts enormous pressure on retailers to rethink marketing and systems, and to progress their business strategies beyond traditional approaches toward more aggressive imperatives for growth and success.

Retail companies failing to keep pace with the endless shifts in the marketplace will adapt too slowly to changes in consumer expectations and will be left behind. They risk their future and might not get a second chance to compete in this race.

Are you ready to engage with tomorrow’s shopper?

A recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) entitled “Ready to engage with tomorrow’s shopper?” shows that retailers can distinguish themselves by focusing on these three strategies:

  • Anticipate, shape and exceed customer expectations, as opposed to simply meeting them.
  • Personalize the shopping experience for customers, since this will be a key competitive advantage for the foreseeable future.
  • Remain agile while delivering a seamless experience across channels through a digitally integrated infrastructure.

One major barrier retailers face for creating a phenomenal customer experience is the lack of qualified and reliable data that can be analyzed quickly, at the speed of thought. For this to happen, retailers need to have quick access to all their data; otherwise customers will be looking somewhere else.

Are you ready to go from darkness to light?

In this new cognitive era, dark data is fast emerging as a battleground for competitive advantage. Much global data is unstructured and dark, which simply means it is not being effectively managed or fully exploited. Becoming a cognitive business requires an IT infrastructure that can give meaning to unstructured and dark data. The system must manage and retrieve it in milliseconds.

IBM FlashSystem is the technology you should be looking at to deliver superior service. It interacts with data at very low latencies, allowing you to extract instant insights from large volumes of data and make real-time decisions. This infrastructure can open up new business opportunities while delivering consistent and predictable microsecond responses. This makes the ability to take real-time action on data a reality.

As part of the IBM FlashSystem family, IBM DeepFlash 150 is an all-flash array deployed with IBM Spectrum Scale software-defined storage. This provides an essential building block for petabyte-scale, cost-constrained, high-performance big data storage and analytics environments.

With the groundbreaking technology of IBM FlashSystem and Spectrum Scale, the potential to drive personalized shopping experiences and help unearth customer trends is enormous.

Learn more today about how you can architect your future with flash.

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