At Target, innovation means acting like a start-up, taking risks and moving fast. At least that's the plan going forward according to Alan Wizemann.
Amazon has now stepped up to compete against Apple's mobile app testing service, TestFlight, with its own app testing service targeted at developers with sights set on the Amazon Appstore.
Target has opened an outpost in Silicon Valley as the retailer continues to seek out technology talent and build digital commerce capabilities.
Apple and IBM announced an exclusive deal that will introduce new business apps to the iPhone and iPad. The enterprise-specific apps for Apple's iOS will be aimed at companies in the retail, healthcare and transportation industries, among others.
Apple and IBM are embarking on a new partnership intended to boost enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps that brings IBM's big data and analytics capabilities to iOS devices.
Inventory management and predictive analytics software, in-store mobile device integration and e-commerce solutions are the biggest technology priorities for independent brick-and-mortar retailers, according to the first annual Retail Tech Forecast from LightSpeed.
Target continues to build out its IT department with the addition of three big hires including Jim Fisher, the new senior VP of infrastructure and operations and Target technology services.
Bot visits to websites were up 21 percent in 2013 and accounted for 61.5 percent of all Web traffic. It's an alarming statistic as bot fraud not only costs marketers billions of dollars annually, it can create trust issues between shoppers and e-commerce sites.
Global spending on IT is on track to reach $3.7 trillion in 2014, a 2.1 percent increase from last year. That growth, however, is slower than in 2013, primarily because of a reduction in growth expectations for devices, data center systems and, to some extent, IT services. "Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short-term IT spending outlook," said Richard Gordon, managing VP, Gartner. "However, 2015 through 2018 will see a return to 'normal' spending growth levels as pricing and purchasing styles reach a new equilibrium. IT is entering its third phase of development, moving from a focus on technology and processes in the past to a focus in the future on new business models enabled by digitalization." Slower spending contradicts statements made by retail IT executives earlier this year, when the emphasis on omnichannel, mobile and data security seemed to be investment priorities. But a closer look reveals that spending is in line with retailers' new priorities.
Following Walmart's lead, Target launched an Accelerator Program in India, which leverages brilliant minds for the next big tech ideas, according to the retailer. Two years ago, WalmartLabs invested in Bangalore's tech talent to build a global e-commerce platform. Similarly, Tesco, the UK's largest retailer, has a technology center in Bangalore to build global solutions. Target executives expect that the technology ideas from Bangalore will change customer engagement in the U.S. "The Indian operation of Target is not a back office, and the accelerator program showcases that India has talent to solve global problems in the retail market," Navneet Kapoor, CEO of Target India, told BusinessWorld. Target's program, launched early this year, focused on small startups that were charged with bringing innovative ideas to Target across five key areas: search, content, data, social and mobile. Hundreds of startups applied to the program, but only five were selected and given the opportunity to develop their ideas at Target's Bangalore office with access to mentors, tools, resources and operational support.