Is your retail technology agile – or fragile?

Legacy technology could be one of the biggest inhibitors for retailers seeking agility – and agility is essential for their survival.

Oliver Guy Oliver Guy

Legacy technology could be one of the biggest inhibitors for retailers seeking agility – and agility is essential for their survival.

Covid-19 has been the ultimate disruptor and 2020 has shown the need for all businesses to be agile – more than ever before. The need to adapt – and quickly – has never been so important. But, in a recent report, RSR Research found that almost half of retailers said that their legacy technology cannot support the agility they need.

In 2020, there were huge changes across retail – almost overnight. Companies without the ability to fulfil online orders struggled, and we saw new fulfilment methods being established such as curb side collection.

McKinsey said that the penetration of online sales increased the same amount in about 10 weeks as it had in the prior 10 years. This stretched the boundaries of agility in a lot of retail organizations, who were – in many cases – constrained by legacy technology.

This mass move online should shine an even brighter light on the potential impact of system interdependence and fragility. Selling through an ecommerce channel involves multiple interconnected systems and a small glitch in one of these systems or the interconnections between them could be very costly.

Failure during a peak trading period such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday could result in hundreds of thousands in lost revenues every minute the website is unavailable.

RSR Research

RSR’s recent research showed that 51% of retailers see cost of ownership of legacy technology as a barrier to agility and 43% admit that legacy cannot support the agility needed.

“It has become almost [unquestionable] in our research that cost and legacy technologies inhibit adoption of new technologies in retail,” according to the report.

Transformation is needed, but few retailers want to rip and replace legacy systems. But what if there was a way to use legacy systems as part of your transformation program, without making a huge investment?

You could rapidly add incremental customer offerings, cost-saving approaches or new insights into the operation of your business. To do this you need to be able to rapidly connect your legacy systems to new technology investments, irrespective of where the technology comes from.

This is where offerings like iPaaS come into their own.  The ability to connect to legacy and future systems, but at a low price of entry can aid the elimination of the obstacle.  You can be agile, not fragile, when the next event comes along.

Click here to find out more.