Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

How Retailers Measure IT Implementation Success

Retailers use a variety of different technology for their website, apps, in-store operations, and distribution centers. It is vital to have a system in place to evaluate the benefits to the business. These measures are required to smooth the process of predicting current and future investments on technology. Since increased revenues and cost savings are standards for almost all retailers’ IT evaluation process, there are four areas each should focus on to be able to measure IT success. First, they need to realize what enhancements the investment will result in, and the problems it will resolve. Knowing what you have to measure if essential to measuring ROI. A calculable amount, like increased clients served, are key to identify before the start of a project. Second, retailers must carefully study staffing changes that may be necessary. Day-to-day operations may be impacted and must be identified before a large investment. Some projects may eliminate some departments completely, while others may create a new one. Third, retailers must be able to get support and funding from upper management. If someone in middle management doesn’t effectively communicate the initiate to those in charge, the project will most likely fail. Fourth, they must identify required training/resources needed. Much of the value in a new system is resulting from people knowing how to use it. Retailers that do not consider these four areas are likely to fail with measuring IT implementation.

 

What are some examples of retailers successfully implementing technology? What metrics can you identify to measure their success?

 

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2 Responses to How Retailers Measure IT Implementation Success

  • Anthony, this is an interesting article, especially considering the discussions we’ve had in class about the importance of actually finding and reporting the value of an IT project. As you pointed out, failure to identify the value at any level can derail your project. Even if you get the funding, which isn’t likely if your measures of value are vague, it fails in getting support down the road as you will have spent a lot of upper management’s money with no tangible benefit with which to get more funding to sustain the project if needed.

  • It’s interesting to read this after reading the article “Everything is Measurable” and be able to apply it to a real world concept. I wonder what the true differentiator is for the successful implementation of IT integration at a retailer as you have described. Sure, these are ways to measure the success, but what creates the difference in numbers for these different retailers? The true result we are seeking lies even deeper, or rather at a higher-scale view. What would be the necessary characteristics of a highly integrated retail chain? All questions that can now be asked after this step.

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