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Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing, Chris is the cofounder of Successful Workplace. He believes there’s no end to what we can change and improve. Chris is a marketing executive and flew for the US Navy before finding a home in technology 17 years ago. An avid outdoorsman, Chris is also passionate about technology and innovation and speaks frequently about creating great business outcomes at industry events. As well as being a contributor for The TIBCO Blog, Chris contributes to the Harvard Business Review, Venture Beat, Forbes, and the PEX Network. Christopher is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 274 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Stop wasting money on software

01.25.2014
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Getting the basics right in retail means transparent pricing, understandable offers, good service and product availability. Most retailers have these down by now and are consistent across the web or the store. That’s not an issue.

But competition — and today that’s around Big Data and analytics — never lets us rest on our laurels for very long. In retail, the new battle is over the use of technology to take the game to the next level. So brand after brand is investing in rapidly increasing amounts in technology, mostly around the promises of customer experience management.

The Path Behind Us

Technology, however, can be a roll of the dice. The path behind us is littered with so-called game changers that never met their promises to revolutionize an industry. Companies throughout the age of computerization have wasted significant money in software that took too long to roll out and recoup their costs and in the end, was inflexible and needed to be replaced too soon.

No one doubts that today’s retail (Big Data, analytics, customer experience and loyalty-driven) requires significant investment in technology, but how does a brand choose wisely and avoid wasting precious time and money?

Strategy

Brands need a strategy flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions, changing data sources, and changing technologies. The single best approach is to run short trials based on hypotheses where an idea is killed quickly if it doesn’t work or is rolled out quickly if it does. Technology needs to support this by being flexible to sources of data and to have baked-in capabilities to analyze data, create a hypothesis, and then run continuous cycles of testing and learning. In today’s software world, necessity is the mother of iteration.

Technology that falls short of this capability will join history’s trash heap.

Published at DZone with permission of Christopher Taylor, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)