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The Right Partner

31/07/2006 | Channel: Technology, Logistics / Packaging, E-Business / IT, Retail, Business, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Automotive, Engineering, Shipping, Construction, Food & Drink

Dear Editor,

Today’s retail IT director is far more than a ‘techie’ on-hand to deal with the black-arts of till and website malfunctions.

Instead they are arguably the company’s most diligent multi-taskers forced to focus on their organisation’s core competencies, their consumers’ wants and needs, and most importantly, what will entice these customers to keep coming back for more.

For an IT director, outsourcing IT can be life changing. It releases him or her from the daily management of services to guiding just a few key individuals. Outsourcing can help fashion a role for the IT director that is more dynamic and vibrant, where operations are managed effectively by a third-party and allow senior individuals to think of the bigger picture, be creative and more strategic.

If an outsourcing partner (OP) is chosen carefully, true understanding and hands-on experience of retail can also be provided. There is much to be said for using an OP as a means of shortcutting the lengthy and complex process of gaining ISO 20000 compliance and adhering to the ITIL framework for technical development. By demonstrating that they operate to the ITIL framework both within their own business and in their clients’ work, an accredited OP can introduce huge gains in project development timescales and quality. The ISO 20000 approach of ‘plan, do, check, act’ also helps organisations to learn from their successes as well as their failures.

In the retail race, there is no finishing line. Continuous improvement will be demanded from all retailers as they strive to keep pace with the demands of canny consumers and the rigours of a testing economy. Retailers would be well served by putting the best skills to use in the best way within their businesses.

Dan Smith
Managed Services Director, Retail Assist