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Retail Restoration: A Better Stance For 2019?



2018 was the year for many US retailers. Because of the strong economy and low unemployment, 2018 retail sales were the best in six years. Last year, the total retail sales rose 5.1% to $850 billion according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. While bricks-and-mortar stores acquired ways to combine their physical and online experiences, digital beginners continued to disturb the status quo by decreasing hassle for consumers.

Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation said 2018 “one of the best years for the retail industry in a decade,” adding that predictions of a “retail apocalypse” have abated. “Certainly, there are things that are out of our control,” he said in a blog. “But if we avoid self-inflicted wounds, we can have another fabulous year in 2019.”

Global consulting firm Deloitte has a more tempered viewpoint. Its 2019 retail outlook report says, retailers’ face a variation point this year because the strong economy begins to show some faults and digital disturbance continues thrashing incumbent. But people who can steer this headwind successfully will succeed. Retailers may need to make bold moves if they want to set themselves up for success in the future,” the report said.

Retailers Will Advance Their Game

Bankruptcy filings of Retailers like Sears, Brookstone, David’s Bridal, Mattress Firm, Nine West and Rockport in 2018 show that the challenges in the sector are far from over. But survivors who are trying to sustain in this new retail environment will obtain the rewards.

“I think what you’re seeing is that the ones who get it are going to win, and the ones who don’t get it are going to lose,” Kahn said. “I personally think 2019 will be an exciting year for smart retailers, and we’re going to see some really creative stuff.”

According to her major innovations are making the retail sector more resourceful. For example, Amazon Go stores allow customers skip long checkout lines; Nordstrom’s showroom stores do not carry inventory; and the flawless combination of technology into automobiles let people shop while they travel.

Bright retailers know the business strategies. “People are talking about the death of retail, but look at these great new beautiful stores that are opening up in New York,” Kahn said. “So, no, retail is not dead. Good retail is live and creative. And bad retail — rest in peace.”

Cohen has the same opinion, there’s “no weakness” in retail per se because there are plenty of customers with healthy disposable incomes — and they love to shop.

“Human beings have an encoded behavior that results in them seeking out things that are new and exciting, with vigor,” Cohen noted. “And they do that in the retail marketplace, whether it’s a physical store or it’s online, or some combination of the two. So, I think the business up top is fine. It’s going to continue to thrive. But within the businesses, the breakage is going to continue.”

Subscription Exhaustion?

The expectation of both the professors on e-commerce activity is to increase as more companies switch to omnichannel retailing and integrate business models geared toward online shopping activities, for example, showrooms and curbside pickup.

Cohen expects double-digit growth for digital. “It will vary by category, but it’s certainly something that consumers have adopted worldwide, and there’s absolutely no reason in the world why that trend would abate,” he said. “The legacy brick-and-mortar players who don’t … get it, or who don’t get enough of it, are dead. They’re going to continue to lose share.”

However, Cohen expressed concern, for showroom-only stores and for subscription-based retailers such as meal kits and pet products. He told that according to the practices, the customers who are at first eager to receive a new box of things every month ultimately get exhausted. The company is forced to pursue new customers for the replacement of leaving ones, driving up the cost of achievement.

“Subscription models [have] been around for a very, very long time. They kind of come and go as they become more fashionable, and right now, they are very fashionable for many customers,” Cohen said. “But my prediction is that most of these new subscription models will have relatively short lives.”

 “Super-Regional” Malls Will Succeed

Some malls in America are slowly dying while others are blooming. It’s a confounding challenge for most customers, so Cohen elucidated it: There are about 1,400 malls in the United States. About 250 of them are triple-A or ‘super-regional’ malls, which means they have four to six anchor stores and are ringed in by communities that won’t let them grow any larger. The remaining 1,150 or so malls are characterized as B, C or D-level malls. They have two or three anchor stores that are dying, such as Sears, J.C. Penney or Macy’s. Specialty tenants have either gone bankrupt or exercised their right to exit because the anchor store that was part of their lease agreement has left.

“They’re referred to by many as zombie malls, because they look more dead than alive,” Cohen said.

He thinks that these challenging places will close, while super-regional malls will be in good condition because they are completely tenanted with sufficient traffic. “And many, many, many customers will always want to touch, feel, try and experience something physically. That behavior is not going to disappear.”

Kahn pointed out the trend in malls is to make them more multi-use and pragmatic, with lots of restaurants, movie theaters and even co-working sites like WeWork.

“You need to have this mixed use,” she said. “People are still looking to go out and have a fun time, and the mall can be it, but it’s got to change.”

For Sears, The End Is Very Near

The bankruptcy filing of Sears was one of the biggest business headlines in 2018. The 126-year-old retailer, owner of Kmart, found to be on path for liquidation. But according to Bloomberg, on January 16, Chairman Edward Lampert’s hedge fund won a bankruptcy auction of the firm with a bid of more than $5 billion. The agreement still requires approval by the bankruptcy court.

Cohen, the former chairman and CEO of Sears Canada, told that the operation strategy of Sears was problematic not its debt. It had lost its relationship with customers. “There’s no leadership in the company, there’s no strategy in place that demonstrates any viability for the future. So, the sad news, which is certainly to me not a surprise, is that this incredible American — if not international — icon is about to disappear.”

Kahn had the same view that lost connection is one of the most unfortunate aspects of Sears’ failure because the legacy retailer once had the kind of customer loyalty that other retailers crave. “[You] can find tons of people who grew up on Sears and are seriously upset that Sears is out of the market. You can’t buy that kind of brand loyalty and legacy,” she said. “It was pure lack of leadership. For whatever reason … they just didn’t take an amazing asset and grow with the retail world.”

Data Privacy Will Increase Importance

Data mining is most important for retailers those need to hone in on customer liking, reduce friction and interrupt old business models. But as 2018 clarified, the security of that data became an increasingly vital issue, which has caught the attention of lawmakers.

Most customers overlook the fact that their personal data is being monetized without direct profit to them, Cohen said, but that could transform in the coming year. “It’s possible that the pendulum is going to swing very, very sharply over to the other side of this issue, which [would mean] very restricted use of data.”

Kahn agreed with this. According to her, access to data is not a predictor of retail success; it’s what retail does with the data that matters. “You’ve got to turn it into information. You’ve got to turn it into action,” she said. “You still need human insight. You still need that little magic of the smart merchant to put all those things together. It’s not just a data solution.”

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AR & VR Will Continue To Exist In Cloud; A Point-to-Point Reasoning!




Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are coming right down to earth with countless advancements and effective upgradations to ease the individual’s life. Technology is nearly thought of as a brain within the current generation. It has conquered each sector within the overall trade, significantly for coaching functions construction. The analysis says maximum organizations are still running their businesses without referring any kind of technology and thus failing to succeed in the expectations of simple work done.

The immersive experience is often thought of the propulsion in customer experience. Once a customer tries to shop for a house they may enjoy a VR tour associated or an AR sight of various piece of furniture within the area. Fashion retailers are already giving customers AR projections of however garments can look on them. Merchandise can become a lot of real for customers, and also the idea of ‘try before you buy’ can wrestle a full new meaning.

However, a lot of widespread XR adoption faces a serious obstacle within the present; a scarcity of appropriate IT infrastructure. 5G networks, already being trialed by EE and Vodafone, are instrumental in delivering these immersive experiences to customers, however, the applications still have to be compelled to behold on somewhere.

While they disagree on the scale, XR experiences are digital worlds in themselves. Several AR even bedded on high of our own universe, emulating its complexness. These services need to associate a large quantity of knowledge to control one thing that ancient information centers can struggle to contain. The challenge is just increased if user interaction and contributions are inspired. As users increase this digital world, the number of knowledge hold on will increase exponentially. Brands can like environments that may scale with these growing mountains of knowledge.

XR experiences have to be compelled to grip low-latency as a user would hardly stay up for the knowledge to load. The effective magic of associate AR app like WallMe is immediacy; messages written by the WallaMe community and hidden within the world are delivered in close to period. If a user had to attend whereas the service accessed their geo-location info and afraid across many siloed databases for the content they wished to visualize, the novelty would quickly wear off.

To some extent, customers can stay up for the content they require if they need one thing to distract them, think about the last time you reached for your phone whereas looking forward to a webpage to load or throughout a broadband delay. However, once all the user will see could be a loading screen you can’t hope to carry their attention for long. XR has the potential to remodel client interaction, however, the expertise is compromised as long because it rests upon inheritance physical infrastructures.

The front-end, mass XR client experiences of the long run are underpinned by high-capacity cloud-native apps. These are applications developed specifically for the cloud, absolutely utilizing its flexibility and power. Applications, information, and memory will all behold on in cloud environments, able to be streamed to customer’s on-demand through tomorrow’s 5G networks.

The cloud permits businesses to scale infinitely with demand. As XR applications grow in quality, corporations can like a lot of cupboard space for each application and also valuable information – personal and activity info – that customers share with them. In an exceedingly physical setting, you’d have to be compelled to endlessly purchase a lot of physical infrastructures to stay pace, however within the cloud it’s as simple as getting another virtual instance. Once demand begins to dip once more this instance are often changed, making certain the corporate isn’t paying for the capability it not desires.

Cloud-native principally functions to supply corporations the power to deploy innovations and repair updates in associate undisturbed and constant flow cycle, and at a hyper-scale capability. For advanced immersive services, like VR games, this is often crucial. Significantly for associate economic engagement rate, corporations have to be compelled to systematically introduce new options all the time to make sure XR apps mirror their ever-changing businesses. Cloud-native apps deliver a perpetually contemporary, low-latency experiences for users, very important for XR applications.

Immersive XR can before long be incoming within the market. We are able to see a daily technological spicy update on ever-changing algorithms, upbringing advancements, or fixing bug errors. 2019 are the year, individuals can nearly sense the fact of technology in an exceedingly excellent manner which might profit them in each attainable actions. The on-going technology now could be to travel regarding commoditizing. 5G and cloud-native can create AR and VR client experiences actually viable. Cloud is taken into account because the key to form XR reasonable for businesses and plausible enough to satisfy the client.

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Cyber-security Innovation Highlights How Digital Transformation Is Minimizing The Data Risk



There have been spicy talks taking place in the industry about the ongoing security attacks, frauds and cyber threats in the big shot organization. Witnessing the data loses, most of the enterprises have been focusing on their developments and upbringing advancements in the digital transformation based on the adoption of leading-edge ICT technologies such as cloud computing, Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Earlier this year, Wannacry ransomware attack; considered as one of the most effective cyber-attack critically effecting cyber-security blown up the targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency affected key organizations all across the globe such as UK-based National Health Service (NHS). Soon in a row, SWIFT international transactions system was also a victim which was trapped by the fraudulent cyber-attack in February 2016 and resulted with the loss of $81 million from the Bangladesh Central Bank.

The question arises how cyber-attacks are taking place. Discussing the situation of previous years, cyber security for SMMEs generally come along to the decision around which anti-virus software to be preferred. As far as anti-virus was reputable, and kept up-to-date, a business leader selected the cybersecurity box as it the most reliable and affordable in the costing.

As business began to transform with huge internet users, the cyber threat level began to escalate. By which social media platforms, personal email communications were easily accessible.

These ongoing cyber-attacks highlight the essentials of cybersecurity as an integral element of an organization’s digital transformation strategy. The time has arrived to understand the main drivers and bring advancements in the cyber security solutions to provide protection to the cybersecurity industry and keep our confidential data at a safer place.

Immediate Need for Trusted Anti-Virus Software

With the maximum count of internet connectivity in an organization, hackers and fraudsters can easily adapt the targets of soft internet users for online scams. However, creating an email marketing plan with the help of spreading advertising junk emails, this usual version of scams prompted businesses to install spam filters along with the trusted anti-virus software.

Resulting in these attacks, business leaders had to avoid using risky website which can harm the business and protect the data from to get it to leak. However, the conclusion lies to stay away from such advertising emails and infected sites.

As organizations are looking forward to bring up digital transformation and introduce new technologies security issues are promptly going to take place. According to the sources, it has been graphed that around 85 percent of CISOs confirmed that security issues during digital transformation had an immense business impact. Due to the increasing adoption of new technologies, IoT and multi-cloud environments have substantially escalated the attack surface and the number of entryways into a network. This can only be proved if organizations have no visibility into user, system and network behavior.

Following are the three key areas where organizations are witnessing threat management and illegal operations:

Lack of Visibility: This challenge is considered as the result of a legacy of non-integrated, siloed multi-vendor point defense products.  To secure complex, hybrid clouds, enterprise data centers, highly distributed environments spanning remote branches, security teams should maintain cohesive visibility to identify anomalous behavior and rapidly mitigate threats.

Polymorphic Attacks: This is a sophisticated attack who holds an ability to change and avoid detection by traditional security solutions. This style of attack has become common with 85 percent of respondents calling it an extremely huge challenge.

DevOps: Integrated DevOps teams and processes have efficiently allowed organizations to keep up with the continuous delivery flow and integration pipelines expected today.

Digital transformation is more likely creating a focus on privacy protections and greater compliance requirements. As cyber-attacks have become more sophisticated and damaging regulatory bodies have established more rigorous rules and guidelines to protect consumer data and personally identifiable information (PII). As a result, organizations must be mindful of compliance requirements and turn to best-in-class, processes, certified products, and people to ensure a reasonable level of risk management.

Successfully Securing Digital Transformation

The research prompts that in the past two years, the average organization has encouraged an attack that resulted in data loss or compliance issues. However, it’s worth noting that several organizations did not suffer any data loss, outages due to superior security preparedness, and compliance issues.

The several approaches stand out as leading practices, as it grabs more success in withstanding the attacks of the organizations.

  • Integrating systems to create a unified security architecture
  • Threat intelligence across the organization
  • Adding safeguards on every network
  • Automating maximum of their security practices

Coming on to the conclusion, the digital transformation will efficiently continue to impact how organizations approach business and technology. Organizations should adjust their approach to security confirming to protect the networks.

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CBSE to add Artificial Intelligence, Yoga in its curriculum from next session



New Delhi: The CBSE will introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI), Early Childhood Care Education and Yoga as new subjects in school curriculum from academic session 2019-2020, an official said. The board’s governing body has decided at a recent meeting to introduce these three subjects in upcoming session, he added.
“The CBSE is introducing artificial intelligence as an optional 6th subject at Class IX from the session 2019-2020 onwards. To enhance the multidisciplinary approach in teaching learning and also to sensitise the new generation, it was decided that schools may start AI “inspire module” of 12 hours at Class VIII itself,” the senior board official said.
According to his notification, the board has also decided to introduce yoga and early childhood education as elective subjects at senior secondary level from this session.
The official said, “The decision was taken considering the demand of schools supplemented by various reports that projected the huge requirement of yoga professionals and early childhood educators.”Additionally, as per norms, a skill subject, at the secondary level, may be offered as additional sixth subject along with the existing five compulsory subjects.
Furthermore, if a student fails in any one of the three elective subjects (science, mathematics and social science), then it will be replaced by the skill subject (offered as a 6th subject) and the result of Class X will be computed based on best five subjects.
But, if a student wants to reappear in the failed subject, he or she may appear along with the compartment examination. Also the secondary board has asked all schools to offer any one or more skill subjects as elective subject out of the 42 subjects for students of class IX and XI and start offering the same from the academic session 2019-20.
“The board will provide necessary support and guidance towards training and capacity building of teachers and other aspects for the successful implementation of skill subjects from time to time,” the official said.

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