5 Ways CIOs Can Implement a Future-Proof IT Strategy with Flexible Software

The retail and hospitality industries have changed so much in the past decade, it’s probably hard to recall how you kept your IT department running with the software you used 10 years ago. That raises the question, will you be able to use the same software platform years from now? If a part of your future-proof IT strategy is to choose a software platform designed for flexibility, the answer is yes.

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To meet the demands that retail, hospitality, and other industries face as a result of technology disruption, leading software developers offer solutions with these features that enable adaptability without requiring you to transition to a new platform:

Extensible: Extensible software solutions are designed with growth and change in mind. Extensibility allows you to expand the functionality of your hospitality or retail management system without major code rewrites or software architecture changes. If your system today doesn’t accommodate a new revenue stream, such as rentals or volume discounts for corporate accounts, an extensible platform supports a future-proof IT strategy by empowering you to make those changes, or others, to customize and add on to your system.

Scalable: Scalable management platforms aren’t limited to a finite amount of computing power or memory, a particular number of users, or even a specific locations. With scalable solutions, you have the ability to increase capacity easily and deploy a common technology solution across all stores.

Accessible: Before cloud-based management platforms, you had to be on-site to access the system and data, and reviewed reports from other locations via paper and fax. In today’s fast-paced industry, cloud solutions enable you to access your retail management system, data, and reports anytime, anywhere—even from mobile devices. As your business grows, you maintain deep visibility both on a store level and across your entire organization.

Integrated: To have a truly agile management system, all applications must be integrated. This doesn’t apply only to store systems such as point of sale (POS), mobile POS, loyalty, eCommerce, digital passes, and reporting and analytics, although integrating those systems saves time, streamlines processes, and minimizes errors caused by transcribing or uploading data from one application to another. Integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) is also essential to create a system that can grow and adapt to change with your business. With management system-ERP integration, you have a complete view of operations with data analysis from all sources. This enables better forecasting, inventory management, purchasing, and labor management—with a complete, real-time view of your business, you can make smarter decisions, and develop a more competitive, future-proof IT strategy. Look for a software platform that is ERP-agnostic, so if your business requires a change, you can upgrade to a new ERP solution without changing your hospitality or retail management solution.

Affordable: A future-proof IT strategy also includes using solutions with budget-friendly pricing models. Instead of making a one-time capital expenditure to buy one version of software, you can purchase software for a monthly subscription, which includes updates and patches—and the assurance you are always running the most current, secure version. Choosing software available on a subscription basis also makes budgeting easier when it’s time to scale up.

Why You Need IT Agility

If there is one takeaway from the last decade in retail and hospitality, it’s that change is certain. You need to maintain agility for the next change that is certainly around the corner, whether it’s the rise of voice-directed personal shopping assistants, virtual, shopping with image recognition—or managing the IT infrastructure for a 100 store or restaurant expansion. With a hospitality or retail management system designed to support a future-proof IT strategy, your IT department and internal systems will be ready to meet any challenges the industry and your business will face in the coming years.

Download this free eBook for more insight into how you can navigate your IT operations and your entire retail business into the future.

As Chief Operating Officer, Pankaj Mathur leads the development and consulting practice of CitiXsys. It is under Pankaj’s tutelage that the CitiXsys retail strategy is transformed to fully functional feature-rich enterprise software, which is now being delivered to global markets. As a strategic thinker and retail evangelist, Pankaj leverages his expertise in product management, software engineering and business operations to drive business growth and frictionless customer experiences.

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