Retailers Require A Control Cockpit For Their Data

Central Cockpit

While the media is brimming with examples of businesses that have been unable to protect their data from external attack, little is known about the impact that internal data corruption and failed file transfers can have on organisations. It was hard to hide from the news of eBay’s misfortune, when a malicious attack on their database resulted in 145 million customer records being stolen.

And before the dust had even settled, Office also asked their customers to change their passwords in response to a website hack. But what about when things go wrong internally? What are the consequences of failing to invest in the technology that will ensure file transfers are properly managed within the enterprise?

For the retail industry, data is at the crux of the business and a timely transfer throughout the organisation is a necessity. Customer data is only one element of the entire data network that retailers rely on for business critical processes. The repercussion of one failed file transfer can be disastrous for retailers because if data doesn’t reach its final destination, targets are missed and critical processes are not carried out.

If shelves aren’t filled and stock replenished, retail businesses can be brought to a halt until the problem is rectified. This could lead to a number of missed sales opportunities. To ensure this doesn’t happen, technology needs to work on the business level, provisioning a central cockpit that makes data management and monitoring easy and provides real-time insight into the data’s journey.

System Overload

In retail, files are only getting bigger. There’s not just Point of Sale data and trend analysis information, but as people increasingly shop online, the number of product images and amount of customer data flying around retail organisations has drastically increased.

With an ever-increasing amount of data to be transferred, files get congested and customers’ orders could be missed damaging the retailers’ brand and reputation. But because so many retailers have no way of knowing whether transfers were successful, all too often Service Level Agreements (SLA) will have been missed by the time they’re even aware there was a transfer error. And missed SLAs mean a loss in reputation, a direct loss in sales, and finally in customers losing faith in the retailer’s ability to deliver.

After the error has been identified, much time, and therefore money, has to be spent on rectifying the congestion, ensuring that all stock reaches its intended location and that customers, stores and warehouses are kept informed. Then it’s time to figure out why the gateway became congested in the first place and how the issue can be fixed.

This whole process can take months to complete, and the next failure will be waiting just round the corner, ready to kickstart the whole process again. So failed transfers not only mean missed SLAs, sales and a loss of image, but profits are slashed thanks to the time and money invested in searching for and fixing the problem.

Take Off To Real-Time Insight & Rapid Setup

For businesses in any industry, it’s no longer enough to be made aware of data glitches after they’ve happened because the damage has already been done. To protect profits and ensure a smooth delivery of data, all teams engaged in the management of the flow of data need operational intelligence.

They need to be notified of anomalies the moment they happen, business intelligence telling them that something has gone wrong a week after it happened is not enough. Having this information at their fingertips will mean that data management teams can respond rapidly, and drastically reduce the potential impact that data-flow malfunctions have on the business and its customers.

But it’s not just operational intelligence that enterprises need at their fingertips. Previously, setting up new data flows has been a time consuming and complicated process. But central governance technology has cut the setup time from weeks to minutes by providing businesses with a cockpit of control and monitoring.

A central governance cockpit makes it possible for employees working on the data front line to set up new data flows, both internally and externally, in as little as fifteen minutes. Governing data from one central platform like this means that teams across the entire organisation can establish compliant file transfers that are mutually understood by all involved in the process, making it far easier to identify errors and find solutions immediately.

A Turbulence-Free Flight

Data is causing a commotion, particularly in the retail industry, and those involved in securing and maintaining data flows bear the frown lines to prove it. But file transfer technology has developed in line with data digitisation, and Managed File Transfer (MFT) software is replacing FTP as a more secure and more reliable, well-rounded solution that allows businesses to transfer files en mass for business-critical processes.

And now, MFT has been enhanced by Central Governance solutions that provide operational intelligence at a business level with end-to-end visibility, security and control over data flows, and therefore drastically cut costs involved with setting up data flows and fixing issues. With better insight into the data soaring through the enterprise, it’s possible for retailers to take back control and ensure that file transfers have a turbulent-free journey, landing safely and on time in their final destination.

Jean-Claude Bellando

For more than 20 years, Jean-Claude Bellando has worked within the middleware sector. He has managed and participated in state of the art teams and organisations. Bellando has a strong technical background including the design of service oriented middleware. Bellando has been involved in sales and marketing of enterprise repository and object databases and an array of, experience in marketing and sales of middleware solutions to large accounts. Bellando possesses the ability to federate a team, customers and partners around a technological solution. Today, he is Solution Marketing Director, Axway, managing go-to-market offers in Europe.