THE ICT TEAM at Farmers Trading Company is embarking on a range of projects to enable the group to keep in step with the changing shopping experience. These include enhancing their e-commerce systems while providing for the needs of tech savvy consumers who shop online, increasingly using mobile devices.
The retail group encompasses the 56 Farmers Stores in rural and city locations across New Zealand, as well as retail businesses Whitcoulls, Stevens and Pascoes.
David Lean, head of IT, says the key projects the department will work on this year include the move to hybrid cloud, VoIP, new access points and Wi-Fi capability for stores.
In the past year, he says the ICT team completed the fully automated enterprise e-commerce integration across the distribution centre, SAP and their external B2C website.
Lean says the retail group will also have major investments in the coming year in the following technologies: Mobile, cloud services, application modernisation, security and risk management, collaboration, digital and customer experience.
Lean says the ICT projects this year will increase by around 10 per cent, but budget and staff numbers will remain stable.
He says some of the challenges the ICT team are preparing for are meeting the changing needs of the business, and moving to digital platforms, including working on two-speed IT.