Making The Real World Feel More Like the Digital World

A couple weeks ago in the Cradlepoint blog, Lindsay mentioned the increasing IT spend by CMOs. One way we’re seeing this play out is in an increased emphasis on creating the “integrated shopping experience.” Companies like Macy’s, the Gap, and Banana Republic are at the forefront of this trend to shrink the difference between in-store and online shopping.

It’s a curious phenomenon—trying to make the real world feel more like the digital world. It just goes to show you how sophisticated companies are becoming in using technology to attract shoppers. Online, consumers get pop-up coupons and notice of discounts. In-store, these same promos show up on shoppers’ mobile phones. Online, companies use video to promote new products. In-store, they show up on digital displays or, again, on the shoppers’ mobile devices (often enabled by location-based marketing).

Add to this the growing expectation of guest WiFi, digital menus, the whole host of new marketing-oriented applications and services available through the cloud, and it’s not hard to see why CMO tech spend is surpassing that of CIO.

But whether the money is being spent for marketing or business processes, changes at the distributed location level have two requirements in common: bigger data pipelines and the ability of companies to centrally provide and manage cloud-enabled services.

Cradlepoint has seen these changes coming and is helping create the infrastructure to facilitate them (by providing more bandwidth and moving from devices to cloud-enabled platforms). At the same time, the creation of this improved infrastructure has prompted innovators to provide more and increasing sophisticated cloud-based services and applications.

Regardless of which came first (bigger pipelines or more functionality to fill them), our challenge here at Cradlepoint is to stay ahead of this dynamic. Keeping up with our clients’ need for more and more bandwidth (both secure and reliable) and centralized control of an exploding array of cloud services… this is not for the faint of heart.  Happily, we thrive on challenges like this.