Retail IT Pain Points [Part Three]

In our last two blogs, we talked about some of the pains IT professionals feel in the tough retail industry, where maintaining POS systems is a constant, everyday task. Today’s final blog of the series will explore even more of those pains and how Informs, Inc. can help. Let’s dive into those pain points.

Remote Security and Backups Are Annoying: We hear you. Retail IT environments are inherently distributed, complex and mixed. Perhaps you feel like you don’t have the time or staffing resources to be everywhere your POS systems are deployed, and you don’t have to be. However, these devices absolutely must be backed up and secured as reliably as possible due to strict regulatory and compliance requirements. The solution? Centralized the management of your data protection, security strategies and compliance. Backups should be able to be conducted automatically or manually on demand, and security breaches should be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

I Don’t Have the Time or Budget for Virtualization: You need to ensure the availability of POS systems says that IT resources (such as storage, applications and server capacity) need to be pooled across the business and shared between users who are geographically distributed. Having an architecture like this can save money, increase productivity and create efficiencies, but it can also be expensive and complex to migrate and maintain. You need a holistic view of all IT resources and virtualization and cloud computing to be affordable for your company.

My Company’s Decision Makers Don’t Understand IT: Corporate decision makers don’t always understand IT, and this can lead to miscommunication and missed opportunities. It’s important that you are careful to articulate the work your team has done to support your organization’s goals. You need easy-to-read reports that keep decision makers informed of your department’s ongoing and needs. They also help you plan for scheduled maintenance, upgrades and expansions. Reports can be run with a simple push of a button.

Working in IT for the retail business doesn’t have to be as difficult as it is today. Contact Informs Inc. for information on how we can help.

Retail IT Pain Points [Part Two]

In our last blog, we talked about some of the IT pain points in the retail industry, where managing POS (Point of Sale) systems seem to take up the majority of IT professionals’ time. In today’s blog, we’ll focus on even more pain points IT professionals in retail face and how we can help.

Downtime is Lost Revenue: The time it takes to update your organization’s POS software can mean making a sale (or several sales) and losing business to a competitor. Gartner estimates that one hour of network downtime—planned or unplanned—costs the average company $ 42,000.  Some form of planned or unplanned downtime will happen to your POS systems during business hours, and you need a solution that two people can use a computer at the same time. A web-based console can be operated remotely in the background, and it keeps a POS device up and running throughout the maintenance process. It’s non-disruptive and shows that no lost sales can be attributed to the IT department.

Users Need to Be Up-and-Running Quickly: New IT users need to be educated and trained on your company’s IT policies and procedures. Salespeople need to be finished quickly so they can behind the cash registers as soon as possible. To streamline this process, you need to apply pre-configured user profiles to new employees. Use workflow technology to build user profiles and automatically apply them to new users remotely and with the push of a button. This allows you to focus on more pressing matters.

Not All Users are Experts: IT professionals are often plagued by “hobbyists” who’ve taken a computer courses or played around on their personal laptops. These users believe that they can install patches and run security scans, or even fix simple problems with the POS system. These users mean well, but they can pose a huge risk for your organization if a user downloads a virus that wipes out the POS system. You need a serious, enforceable approach to security.

Stay tuned for our final blog on IT pain points in the retail industry, and in the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact the retail IT industry experts at Informs, Inc. to help