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Retail Digital Transformation with Low-Code Platforms | @CloudExpo #DX #Cloud #Analytics
See how low-code platforms play an important role in digital transformation of the retail world

Fast-paced changes in the business landscape demand enterprises to rethink their existing business models and add innovative capabilities keeping in mind the new imperatives. One among them is the focus on Digital transformation. In the retail industry, growth is measured in terms of increased sales and value addition to existing products while keeping customer expectations in mind. This is where a digital focus is important to remain competitive.

Surviving the Competition
Surviving in a highly competitive marketplace needs more than just the ability to sell; it calls for the evaluation of existing business processes for identifying bottlenecks/loopholes, the creation of more robust frameworks for improving operational efficiency, and more importantly convergence of evolved technologies, processes and enterprise solutions in the system for delivering transformational customer experience. With personalization becoming the key to enhancing customer experience, it is time for retailers to make the shift from ‘customer interaction' to ‘customer engagement'. Apps and kiosks are replacing elements of a traditional shopping experience, calling for store environments to evolve. Moreover, with an increasing number of customers moving to online platforms, retailers are trying to cater to their needs by redefining delivery models and enriching shopping experiences across all touchpoints and channels.

Digital transformation is a conscious shift from the traditional ways of operating existing business to modern solutions that deliver incremental value to a business. This in turn results in enhanced customer experience, efficiency and business innovation.

Digital innovation in Retail
Digital transformation for retailers is about looking beyond bare minimum changes in the product and service line to rethinking processes, creating a connected engagement enabled application of modern tools and technology. It is not only about customer centricity, agility, innovation, data intelligence and new value propositions, but also about streamlining processes, reducing costs and improving efficiencies across all the phases in the retail cycle.  With the rules of the game changing, retailers need to rethink every aspect of their business - from sourcing and pricing strategies to inventory planning, employee training and customer experience management, product offering and automation.

Changing the e-commerce landscape: Transitioning from bricks to clicks
Stores are more than just sales channels today. They are experience centers - extended arms of an enterprise's digital touch-points. Organizations, thus, endeavor to integrate innovative digital experiences to ensure a connected and engaging in-store experience. Digital transformation in-store happens when retailers deliver tailored experiences to the customer through a convergence of multiple technologies - for example, analyzing customer preferences through behavioral analytics, detecting customer location in-store and delivering context-aware, personalized promotions on mobile devices. Another example is Amazon and Alibaba using kiosks and interactive digital displays to help customers browse through the entire catalog and choose the items they need, especially apparels, home goods ensuring the superior experience for customers. In addition, enabling store associates through assisted selling and advisory tools where store associates are armed with customer information and insights, is the need of the day, be it to save a sale from showrooming or to enable customer retention and loyalty.

Driving the digital value in retail industry
To become a Digital Retailer, you need to understand the customer psyche to the fullest and be able to anticipate their needs and provide service better than the competition.  A good decision-making point for a retail head a decade ago was whether to build or buy a custom application or retail software. Traditional IT departments were structured typically with large development teams who were quite capable of developing large-scale applications as well as modifications to existing systems. In the present scenario the changing business demands and, agile methodologies, outsourcing and custom application development have made it imperative.

As most customers today prefer to shop online besides physically visiting the store, visual merchandising, new resources, and better online applications for retail app creation are of utmost need. A simple platform that can help retailers build applications to automate inventory management, store merchandise records and or an application that can derive meaningful dashboards based on customer buying behavior and analytics - is the need of the hour.  You should be able to act very quickly to changing customer demands and preferences.

These daily challenges related to different aspects of retail like sales, catalogs, analytics, customer behavior, Omni channel representation, and inventory management can be easily tackled by adopting new technology like RAD, Cloud, IoT and AI that deliver solutions for digital transformation coupled with efficiency, cost optimization, and engagement.

Key levers that drive digital value in retail:

  • Cost - Enhanced payment methods, and connected marketing initiatives drive great value in retail. Improved mobile apps for payments, analytics, tremendously help reduce transaction costs and improve customer convenience. Connected ads drive revenue growth by increasing traffic to apps and provide targeted communication to customers groups.
  • Productivity - This the biggest advantage of adopting new technology. It improves the performance of workforce and automates many important processes. Retail companies can become more responsive to changes and obtain agility with digital transformation.
  • Innovation - With Technology comes innovation. Gathering important data using tools and application innovative changes can be made in the existing retail in store and online models. Invest in analytics and related tools to understand spending and shopping patterns of customers, and use them give them a highly targeted sale, like giving away a discount coupon on a sweet box to a specific customer a week before his birthday.  Based on feedback, new product changes can be implemented easily with applications reading browsing patterns, customer behavior and buying habit. At the same time decision making also becomes faster than with legacy systems.
  • Customer Experience: Digital transformation enables a deep-dive into the retail customer experience. Many digital transformation initiatives arise from pain points, business innovation needs and transformation imperatives on the customer (experience) side of the business.  Becoming data-oriented through analytical tools is a must for a digital retailer by gathering details from all the touchpoints of a consumer in his/her buying journey and get to know the consumer behavior.

Take the next step in the digital world
Traditional applications of the past no longer make the grade to enable a digital retailer. Their purpose was to standardize and integrate back-end business processes. They were not designed to adapt quickly or support innovation. Today's retail digital enterprise demands a different approach: Your applications must adapt continuously and quickly, giving you the agility you need to differentiate from the competition. Every retail enterprise is different, their needs, customers, business model etc.  You need highly customized apps and utilities to service these needs.  Now is the time to adapt Custom applications and software like RAD. What is revolutionary about the application infrastructure of these new and agile Digital Business Platforms is that development, hosting and maintenance of applications can be democratized. They are simple, intuitive and easy to use and customize.

How Low-code Platforms enable Digital innovation in Retail Industry
Low-code platforms
, as the name suggests, enable you to build apps by writing little or no code. They can be leveraged to add the competitive edge to your retail business. In traditional app development, programmers write every line of code manually (hand coding). In contrast, a low-code platform requires zero to very little manual coding. Instead, developers use an intuitive, drag-and-drop editor to create visual models of an app's business logic, integrations and user interface. If that low-code platform is full-featured, generating, compiling and deploying the necessary code is automatic.

In the retail industry, custom mobile and web applications built using a low-code platform provide real-time visibility over inventory, both in-store and on e-commerce sites. They help take better care of customers with CRM integration and tools that provide quality service, products, and stores.

Benefits of using Low code platforms:

  1. Greater Engagement
    Low code platforms help build an app in days and not in months, Developers are able to update stakeholders about project progress rapidly. Delays are cut down and changes can be quickly implemented. Maintaining short and dynamic iteration cycles makes team more engaging.
  2. Lower Risk and Higher ROI
    With a low-code platform, all the security, cross-platform support and data integration capabilities have already been built. In addition, they can be customized easily. As a result, developers and others can focus on solving business problems rather than mundane, error-prone technical requirements.
  3. Elimination of the IT Skills Gap
    The intuitive, visual editors in low-code platforms do a lot to "level the playing field." Knowledge of specific languages is not required, nor do they have to have years of experience to use them. Therefore, more developers can contribute to a project. In some cases, even non-technical stakeholders can learn to build their own prototypes. Waiting for IT support becomes a thing of the past.
  4. Scalable Governance of Multiple Apps
    By shortening lead times and using common infrastructure, low-code platforms can enhance transparency, security, and compliance.
  5. Ease of Deployment
    The best low-code platforms are game-changers for those accustomed to traditional methods. This is because one can build apps for multiple platforms simultaneously. Not only that, it can be done in a fraction of the time needed to hand-code an app for just one.
  6. Innovation
    Writing code is time-consuming, Low code platforms eliminate the effort of writing complex codes. Developers can simply drag, drop, and customize features as per the need. This makes innovation an ongoing process and involves both developers and business people in building applications as a team

How retailers benefit from low-code application development platforms:

  • Retain, attract and engage, providing personalized, differentiated Retail experiences
  • Drive new revenue streams with customized campaigns across customer segments
  • Bring efficiency to store operations with Real-Time Mobile App aided store inspections
  • Serve real-time store data to Area Managers over mobile and web applications
  • Crunch project execution with rapid project-specific app creation
  • Build KPI dashboards that can be customized to store-specific targets, maximizing profits
  • Ready-to-go loyalty app with a comprehensive analytics backend
  • Tailored Location based rewards offering for shoppers every time they walk in
  • Tiered recognition for customer purchases where customers receive rewards when they reach a predefined spending threshold
  • Easy tracking of their rewards progress either at the point-of-sale, online or on their mobile devices
  • Analytics back end for useful insights on customer spending patterns

Conclusion
Despite the challenges that come with taking a step forward towards digital disruption, retailers must embark on this journey of transformation. Going digital and becoming agile is the key way to success in today's age. Technology and innovation can fuel the process and drive value. Digital Transformation in the retail industry has to be a strategic move that encompasses people, process, and technology, only then can the retail industry gain a competitive edge.

About Karthick Viswanathan
Karthick heads the Products, Marketing and Evangelism efforts for WaveMaker. As one of the original product managers at WaveMaker, he led the technology and design for WaveMakerOnline, WaveMaker's PaaS offering. He also established the Customer Success practice for WaveMakerOnline. Prior to WaveMaker, Karthick occupied various roles in engineering and product management at PegaSystems, IBM and Oracle. He can discuss in-depth, code-level details and just as easily shift focus to business and go-to-market strategies. He was one of the seeders for the product management teams for PegaSystems in India and also a key technology contributor behind Oracle Warehouse Builder features. He writes and blogs about modern app development methodologies, including Rapid Application Development, digital transformation, and the API economy.

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ISAACSON
RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

HEABERLIN
Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOM-
BERG

Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCIN-
INNI

EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMING-
HAM

SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRY-
MPLE

EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

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@CloudExpo Blogs
"Venafi has a platform that allows you to manage, centralize and automate the complete life cycle of keys and certificates within the organization," explained Gina Osmond, Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Venafi, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also received the prestigious Outstanding Technical Achievement Award three times - an accomplishment befitting ...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science, marketing innovation and future tech.
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Commvault, discussed how to cut costs, scale easily, and unleash insight with CommVault ...
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Last year was another banner year for security breaches, sad but true. At times it felt like a week did not go by without the announcement of another large corporate security breach (that usually happened sometime in the past) and the personal information of millions of people was potentially at risk. One breach in particular stands out to me. The Equifax breach that occurred last September. Approximately 145 million individuals' personal information had potentially been acquired by the hackers.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to the new world.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management ...
Digital transformation has increased the pace of business creating a productivity divide between the technology haves and have nots. Managing financial information on spreadsheets and piecing together insight from numerous disconnected systems is no longer an option. Rapid market changes and aggressive competition are motivating business leaders to reevaluate legacy technology investments in search of modern technologies to achieve greater agility, reduced costs and organizational efficiencies. In this session, learn how today's business leaders are managing finance in the cloud and the essent...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.