Retail is not what it once was, not even as few as 10 years ago. The growth of online retailing, of mobile payments, of a host of other phenomena has left the brick-and-mortar retailer reeling. Yet with new changes coming for those retailers, one point becomes increasingly clear: proper network management is likely to be the key to survival.
What Do Networks Do for Retailers Now?
There’s no shortage of benefits that proper networking brings to retailers.
- Big data analytics. All that information retail customers generate –preferences in time of day, in items purchased, in places looked and so on –is a gold mine. Used properly, this data can help a business offer exactly what its customers want.
- More customer-facing options. Customers routinely shop with a smartphone in hand these days, checking prices and reading reviews. Better network management allows businesses to offer customers the tools they want, a measure which ensures better customer experience.
- Better data sharing. Since most retailers are multiple-branch operations –sometimes even in the same town — being able to share information about what’s selling where is worth doing. Such a network, often distributed over miles, requires network management systems to to keep it operating and producing its valuable data.
Why is Network Management So Important?
Network management is what makes the best in network access possible. However, these days, the network has a lot of threats that need to be addressed as well.
- Increasing network strain. The network that would have been overkill five years ago is almost useless today. The sheer amount of new data flowing through that network calls for regular improvements to match.
- New threats. All that data is an irresistible target for thieves, who will use all manner of new tools to get access to it. Worse, their methods also change to reflect advances in security. Protecting data is vital to improve customer relationships and keeps customers coming back.
- New risks in general. The Internet of Things is a great way to gather data about your customers for later use in improving operations. But it also represents a new potential way for thieves to break in. Those who plan ahead here will get the best results.
How Do I Improve My Network Management?
Start improving your network management by talking to SimpleWAN. We have a complete, all-in-one solution for software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) that includes network monitoring tools, firewall options, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) replacement and even compliance with both PCI and HIPAA standards. Whether you want to take better advantage of data already generated, generate new data, protect it or make it readily accessible among branches, we’ve got the answer for you.