When it comes to serving the modern shopper, IT performance matters. In the retail sector, businesses need achieve optimal levels of speed, security, and performance in order to create a superior shopping experience. To achieve this, retailers are utilizing large quantities of data—such as transactional, historical, and customer data—to learn customer spending behaviors, identify upcoming trends, and deliver quality products and services. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in particular must strive to extract and implement data insights in order to enhance retail offerings, store layouts, and more, and gain competitive advantage.
Today’s businesses are utilizing data from Internet-enabled cash registers, computers, personal devices, and a variety of intelligent machines in order to better understand their customers and optimize the supply chain through inventory monitoring. These intelligent things are constantly connected and generating data on a platform known as the internet of things (IoT). According to a 2016 Business Insider report, a projected 34 billion devices will connect to the Internet by 2020, rising from 10 billion in 2015. To accommodate this major disruption, nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions in the next five years.
For retail SMBs, quickly and securely harnessing IoT data is key to deliver a convenient and personalized shopping experience. 70% of brands worldwide are working to adopt the IoT in order to drive business performance and enhance customer satisfaction. Of these investments, 81% of retailers are deploying security sensors, earmarking network protection as a chief concern in the digital age.
Retailers are experiencing a rapid influx of IoT data, and businesses leaders are now seeking a more capable infrastructure in order to safeguard their networks and accelerate innovation. IT solutions expressly designed for the IoT are helping SMBs operate with confidence, providing the flexibility, security, and affordability required to accommodate business growth.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is equipping businesses for IoT connectivity with the help of Aruba technologies. These solutions, such as Aruba Instant Access Points and Aruba ClearPass, offer additional levels of business network security as users utilize smart devices. Aruba Instant Access Points, and network switches, support a growing number of vulnerable endpoints by ensuring simply and safe access from the intelligent edge to the core. In addition to secure network access points, Aruba ClearPass enables SMB leaders to create and monitor network access policies in real time. This ensures that operations are secure from both internal and external threats.
Retailers who pursue IoT innovation stand to gain significant advantages:
- Optimized workforce.IoT connectivity helps retailers understand buying patterns based shopping trends, weather, holidays, store layout, and more, which increases workplace productivity and reduces workforce costs.
- Faster inventory turn.IoT technologies monitor purchases in real time and alert employees when products run out on a display, thereby mitigating loss of sales and boosting customer satisfaction.
- Loss prevention.Utilizing security sensors, videos, and electromagnetic tag tracking to monitor in-store products significantly reduces the risk of theft.
- Better IT management.Investing in the right IT solutions provides consistent visibility across the network, letting SMBs easily manage their IT networks and connected devices across disparate locations.