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It’s ‘Bring Your Own Device’ on Aisle 7; Just Don’t Forget to Bring Your Own Security

BY CSA STAFF

By Adam Stern, [email protected]

In retail, shift work and shared titles (such as “manager”) are as popular as end-caps. These days, it’s just as common for managers in a retail operation to have in hand a smartphone and a personal tablet. Great for on-the-fly communication. Not always so great for protecting a retailer’s critical data assets. According to the conventional wisdom, “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) – a business trend on a fast trajectory – might be better labeled “Bring Your Own Security Breach.” As the use of personal tablets and smartphones in business increases, organizations are seeking to strike the proper balance between employee freedom of choice and the need to protect data.

BYOD advocates believe employees can be more efficient if they use the mobile device with which they’re most familiar, but for the uber-competitive world of retailing, a data security breach could not only disrupt business but take a big bite out of sales.

Why BYOD and why now? In a word, “mobile.” The number of mobile devices under management is increasing at a “massive” 300%-plus clip, according to data from cloud provider CenterBeam. Between 2006 and 2011, the number of wireless connections nationwide grew by more than 42% to 331.6 million, based on data from CTIA-The Wireless Association. Nowhere is this embrace of wireless more evident than in text messaging; users are tapping out some 193 billion text messages each month, 10 times as many as just six years ago. Analysts at the market research firm IDC estimate that worldwide total unit shipments for smartphones and tablets will reach nearly 1.2 billion before 2012 is over, a 27% increase from just a year ago.

Mobile almost by definition blurs the line between work and home. Juniper Research estimates that 350 million employees worldwide will be using their own devices in the workplace by 2014. Gartner goes even further, calling the growth of BYOD programs “the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace.” In Forrester Research’s view, BYOD is defining the “consumerization of IT” trend, where, increasingly, employees are determining how technology is accessed at work and what kind of equipment is “in the field.” And, not surprisingly, mobility is becoming top-of-mind for retailers of all sizes and specialties.

So BYOD is here to stay. In this challenging retail environment, as we head into the critical holiday buying season, BYOD should be valuable in promoting efficiency – and it just might promote sales and greater profitability, if done right.

BYOD offers a twist on the old adage, “trust, but verify.” In my view, retailers can integrate BYOD into their operations once they fully grasp its dimensions and once they plan ahead. They can approach BYOD as a strategic opportunity – enabling employee satisfaction and efficiency – but first, they must place the issue of data security in the cloud front and center. They also need to recognize where devices should not be brought, given existing protocols. For retailers, point-of-sale is that no man’s land. Thanks to data security compliance requirements, BYOD and POS ought not to mix, at least for now.

Leaving POS aside, then, what issues do retail enterprises large and small need to consider before implementing a BYOD policy? What does it take to maintain and protect data in a virtual environment – whether that data sits on a desktop, an iPad or a Droid? And, flipping the discussion around, how might retail operations actually benefit from BYOD?

The key to “domesticating” BYOD involves embracing the concept of Desktop-As-A-Service (DaaS), which addresses security concerns by bringing all data into a secure, remote location – allowing the flexibility and global accessibility device users want, and providing a platform that multiple devices can access. A cloud-based DaaS system can save retail enterprises money by eliminating the need to change out the software on every single device.

Desktop-as-a-Service addresses security concerns by bringing all data into the cloud and offers a viable solution for both. DaaS allows the flexibility and global accessibility that BYOD users want, and provides a platform that multiple devices can access.

The influx of personal devices and cloud hosting DaaS should be regarded as a boon for forward-thinking retailers looking to stay on the cutting edge. BYOD promises improved employee satisfaction and productivity, and a very enticing affordability in a post big-box PC world. By virtualizing the desktop via cloud hosting, chains can save money by eliminating the need to change out the software on every single device.

The ability to communicate effectively and work efficiently remains the driving force behind BYOD, from an employee perspective. While there’s no panacea for every security issue, cloud computing and DaaS offer solutions that address both current and future concerns – how data is accessed, how security protocols are controlled and automated, and where corporate data is stored.

For retailers rightly concerned about maintaining both margins and operational efficiencies, BYOD can make the sale.

Adam Stern is founder and CEO of Infinitely Virtual in Southern California, a provider of high quality and affordable virtual server technology, capable of delivering services to any type of business, via terminal servers, SharePoint servers and SQL servers He can be reached at [email protected].


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A.Brown says:
May-06-2013 02:31 pm

I think, it is better to listen to their grievances and help them. Yeah, BOYD works, we tried it when selling gw2 gold to costumers and they want their familiar spaces.

A.Brown says:
May-06-2013 02:31 pm

I think, it is better to listen to their grievances and help them. Yeah, BOYD works, we tried it when selling gw2 gold to costumers and they want their familiar spaces.

T.Jackson says:
Apr-06-2013 11:12 am

In my view, retailers can integrate BYOD into their operations once they fully grasp its dimensions and once they plan ahead. They can approach BYOD as a strategic opportunity – enabling employee satisfaction and efficiency – but first, they must place the issue of data security in the cloud front and center. raspberry ketone pure at walmart

T.Jackson says:
Apr-06-2013 11:12 am

In my view, retailers can integrate BYOD into their operations once they fully grasp its dimensions and once they plan ahead. They can approach BYOD as a strategic opportunity – enabling employee satisfaction and efficiency – but first, they must place the issue of data security in the cloud front and center. raspberry ketone pure at walmart

T.Jackson says:
Apr-01-2013 11:20 am

then, what issues do retail enterprises large and small need to consider before implementing a BYOD policy? What does it take to maintain and protect data in a virtual environment – whether that data sits on a desktop, an iPad or a Droid? And, flipping the discussion around, how might retail operations actually benefit. raspberry ketone pure at walmart

T.Jackson says:
Apr-01-2013 11:20 am

then, what issues do retail enterprises large and small need to consider before implementing a BYOD policy? What does it take to maintain and protect data in a virtual environment – whether that data sits on a desktop, an iPad or a Droid? And, flipping the discussion around, how might retail operations actually benefit. raspberry ketone pure at walmart

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P.Lopez says:
Mar-29-2013 06:31 pm

As the use of personal tablets and smartphones in business increases, organizations are seeking to strike the proper balance between employee freedom of choice and the need to protect data. Chatrandom

P.Lopez says:
Mar-29-2013 06:31 pm

As the use of personal tablets and smartphones in business increases, organizations are seeking to strike the proper balance between employee freedom of choice and the need to protect data. Chatrandom

D.Spencer says:
Mar-20-2013 01:47 pm

This is the grandeur of an event where plenty of human resources were invested. Good for them, because this kind of entertaining event surely takes a stand in the community life and sets great impact at a national level. This is how you achieve success when you work with professionals to create a corporate event up to the very last detail of the event planning steps.

D.Spencer says:
Mar-20-2013 01:47 pm

This is the grandeur of an event where plenty of human resources were invested. Good for them, because this kind of entertaining event surely takes a stand in the community life and sets great impact at a national level. This is how you achieve success when you work with professionals to create a corporate event up to the very last detail of the event planning steps.

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12 Days of Giving gives $1.5 million

BY CSA STAFF

Walmart on Friday wrapped up its 12 Days of Giving campaign with a $70,000 donation of warm clothing to 14 non-profits groups.

One of the organizations selected to receive a donation, the Assistance League of Yuma, serves its community by using proceeds from their thrift store to provide clothing, shoes, hats and more to children in need. Operation School Bell allows the organization to bring groups of students from rural schools twice a year to get clothing.

Over twelve consecutive days, Walmart has awarded a total of $1.5 million to 140 organizations across the country that are providing basic needs and services such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Organizations receiving grants today are featured on Walmart’s Live Better tab on Facebook. The organizations serve communities in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

"As temperatures drop, many people lack the resources to buy clothes to keep themselves and their families warm throughout the winter," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation. "The local organizations selected today are meeting this need in their communities with donations of cold-weather essentials such as socks, coats and gloves."

Walmart’s November call for submissions resulted in more than 21,677 nominations from Facebook users who submitted descriptions of each nonprofit’s impact in its local community. Submissions were initially reviewed by Walmart associates from across the company and then a panel from the Walmart Foundation selected the winning organizations.

 

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Will Mike Duke retire in 2013?

BY CSA STAFF

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., president and CEO Mike Duke claims to love working for a company where success and size have resulted in high expectations, but that love affair may be ending in 2013.

Speculation regarding Duke’s tenure as CEO is nothing new. It began in the fall of 2008 as soon as it was announced he would succeed then president and CEO Lee Scott. Duke was 58 at the time and only one year younger than Scott, so he was never viewed as the same type of long term leadership solution that Scott was. Scott was 51 when he took over the top job in early 2000 from former president and CEO David Glass who was 64 at the time of his retirement.

Duke is now 62 and halfway between the age at which Scott and Glass gave up the post.

As Duke prepares to enter his fifth year as CEO, following four grueling years as vice chairman responsible for Walmart International, chatter has begun to heat up regarding the timing of his eventual retirement and potential successors. Adding fuel to the fire is the company’s ongoing investigation into possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Initially focused on Mexico, the extensive investigation has since expanded to Walmart operations in other regions of the world.

This investigation has been underway for more than a year and cost the company more than $100 million. At some point it has to end and when it does, if there is blame to be assigned or assumed, it could well be Duke who ends up taking the bullet for the company.

Even if that proves not to be the case, Duke may simply decide that 2013 is the right time for him to step down following a lengthy retail career. If so, the list of potential internal successors basically consists of Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon, 52, and Walmart International president and CEO Doug McMillon, 45. An argument could be made that both men possess the leadership abilities to assume the top job which is a high quality problem for Walmart to have.

Duke’s eventual retirement and new responsibilities for Simon and McMillon will trigger a series of additional personnel moves that could see people like Walmart EVP and chief administrative officer Rollin Ford, 49, assume new responsibilities and open the door for Walmart to elevate additional women to high profile senior leadership positions.

Regardless of when Duke retires and who succeeds him, the job of running Walmart is unlike any other in the world and requires a special skill set. Walmart is poised to surpass $500 billion in annual sales within the next few years, ensuring the company will face enormous operational challenges even as it pursues new growth opportunities while simultaneously defending itself from criticism that never seems to fade regardless of the company’s actions.

That said, Walmart is for the most part in a good place with momentum on its side. The FCPA investigation is a huge dark cloud, but Duke contends it will make the company stronger.

"Because of our success as a company, we do face higher expectations from our customers and our associates in all areas," Duke said in a memo to employees earlier this week. "I love that the world looks to us as a leader. Walmart has an influencing role, and we must lead by example and help raise ethical standards overall. As I have said all along, we will use these events to raise the bar and make Walmart an even better company. We have ensured that the ongoing investigation has the time and resources it needs to get to the bottom of what happened."

Walmart has offered no indication on when it will get to the bottom of what happened, but if doing so results in a leadership transition Walmart may want to dust of the quote it used in the press release back when Duke was named CEO.

"This management change occurs at a time of strength and momentum for Wal-Mart," said Rob Walton, chairman of the Wal-Mart board of directors. "Our overall management team has never been stronger. We are confident that the strategy we have in place is the right one for future success and Mike has been actively involved in developing and executing this strategy. We are also pleased that our succession and management development process continues to develop leaders internally."

It’s is not hard to imagine Walton saying the same thing about a transition involving Simon or McMillon, whether such a change occurs in 2013 or beyond.

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