Things are tough and uncertain right now and retail CIOs will be challenged to evaluate planned expenditures that were designed to support a strategic direction. It’s time to stress-test retail scenarios to ensure that those previously developed and the investments that have been planned and initiated in response are still aligned. Gartner just published updated tools and referenced research, to address the immediate imperative of managing continued market volatility (such as bankruptcies, government policies, inflation, social influence, continued fluidity of human behaviors, uncertainty of epidemiology, environmental concerns, economics or other major disruptive forces).
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Model New Retail Scenarios to Stress-Test Existing Strategies not only gives Gartner clients and retail executives valuable foresight into plausible futures, but also prepopulates the work that executives may otherwise have to do, saving them time and giving unbiased insight into decision making. A diagnostic tool, provided as part of this research, can be used independently (self-directed) to enable executive leaders to stress-test retail scenarios and their business and technology initiatives. The Toolkit also highlights composability as a business approach to architect for resilience, exploit disruption through modularity, have autonomous business units to creatively respond, and mix and match business functions to orchestrate advantageous outcomes.
It illustrates aspects of composability by assessing preparedness, as well as capabilities for creating value in a variety of scenarios. As a result, leaders can orchestrate overall decision-making effectiveness. CIOs should use the research, tools and resources included in this Toolkit to stress-test retail scenarios:
- Create a plan to maintain and improve business performance by dealing with changes in mission-critical priorities, strategies and operations as warranted in persistently volatile markets.
- Encourage, facilitate and participate in conversations with the board and executive team about the future and its impacts on business operations and market behaviors.
- Clarify assumptions about possible futures, and identify signposts/measures to monitor outcomes and indicate the validity of assumptions over time.
- Leverage the future scenarios and Toolkit to evaluate current and proposed business and technology initiatives and guide investment priorities.