Retailers need to rethink their existing retail ICT infrastructure


With many non-essential retailers opening for the first time since March, many will need to change the way stores are set up. Retailers will need to ensure they have the right infrastructure to support the adoption of new technologies, implemented to create a contactless retail experience.

Richard Aspinall, SVP UK at GTT, global cloud networking provider, highlights the need for retailers to rethink their existing retail ICT infrastructure.

“As many non-essential retailers reopen for the first time since March, they will need to adapt stores for a shopper experience that’s never been seen before. From smart shopping trolleys that act as self-service checkouts on wheels, to scan and pay mobile phone apps and virtual reality showrooms, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies that blend in-store and online practices in order to create a contactless retail experience, that is safe.

“One key question is, do retailers have the right network in place to support and delivering a frictionless customer experience or will they need to rethink and upgrade their existing retail ICT infrastructure.

“As retailers experiment with new in-store technologies, they will need to cope with the growing bandwidth demand that in-store applications create. New networking approaches, such as SD-WAN, make the network simpler to configure and ensures traffic takes the most direct, lowest latency path to support critical customer-facing applications. It can also support more cost-effective connectivity requirements.

“A recent GTT survey showed that retailers expect SD-WAN to bolster security, benefit the customer experience and offer improved resilience. As the industry heads toward an ever more unified commerce experience, it must implement the supporting infrastructure. One that enables wide-spread internet access to support new customer service models, greater network performance for contactless point of sale terminals, and that ensures personal data remains protected and complies with industry security standards.”