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How IT and Business Professionals Can Ensure Their Rightful Position at the Top of The "Nice List"
Eliminating System Downtime, Data Security Breaches and The Inevitable Consequence of Being Added To The "Naughty List" on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Beyond 

By Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder, DH2i

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up on Friday, November 29 and Monday, December 2 respectfully, maintaining continuous IT operations and ensuring bullet-proof data security is at the very top of the priority list for retail business and IT leaders alike (along with a handful of other industries that benefit from these two significant shopping "holidays"). This is especially true as retail professionals are well aware that customers no longer base their loyalty on just products or services, or even price. Customer experience (CX) is now the name of the game, and if you cannot meet customer demands and expectations, they will simply move on to your nearest competitor.

During this year's holiday shopping season, CX will be judged on system availability and data security. In other words, customers will want to shop and purchase anytime from anywhere - and they will be less than pleased if their personal data is compromised.

The Cost to Lose a Loyal Customer Can Be Felt Immediately and Long-term 

Whether shopping from the comfort of a sofa, or braving the crowds, consumers will not stick around for very long if your systems go down and they are unable to shop and/or complete their purchase. One need only search, "the cost of downtime on Black Friday or Cyber Monday" to find numerous articles and research talking about the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars and incalculable cost to reputation if your systems go down on either day. According to a CIODive article last year, Walmart stood to lose about $20,000 for every 30 seconds its website has downtime, Target would lose $508,608 every hour, and Macy's would lose about $664,920 per hour.

Next, try Googling "cost of a data breach in retail" and again, you will be presented with an overabundance of statistics. For example, a recent RSM white paper revealed that from 2013-2017, the average breach cost for a cyber claims was $1.3 million, costs related to malware and viruses cost $2.4 million and hacking cost retailers over $1.5 million.

And, its not just one of those two days you need to worry about. The pain associated with the loss of what was once a loyal customer can be significant. According to HubSpot, it costs a business about 5-25x more to acquire a new customer, than sell to an existing one, and existing customers spend 67% more than new customers.

So, What's A Retailer to Do?

Whether you are one of the largest and most well respected retail brands, a smaller specialty retailer, or a franchisee, the following are important points for you to consider:

  • High Availability (HA) Need Not Be Complex or Expensive to Ensure - What retailers really need this shopping season is "smart availability." High availability should be smart, and encompass far more capability than just a solution to combat unplanned outages. HA should be an all-inclusive approach for total optimization of your environment. It should keep downtime-including planned outages-as close to zero as possible, improve, not complicate the management experience for your team, and it should never require compromise between cost and availability.
  • VPNs are Neither Private nor Secure - VPNs are failing to adequately protect enterprise systems and data in today's hybrid, heterogeneous world of multi-cloud settings. Retailers must turn to alternate solutions designed with today's IT and business environment in mind, such as software defined perimeters (SDP). SDP achieves "zero-trust" security in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. SDP provides security through "micro-perimeters," which are micro-tunnels that allow administrators to segment by application, rather than by network. By leveraging SDP technology, retailers can deploy a secure perimeter, and protect gateways and network data transfers alike from unapproved usage, effectively shrinking their network's attack surface."

How to Make the "Nice List" This Year

When all the hubbub of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has faded away, the last place you want to find yourself is on the "Naughty List." Instead, IT and business professionals can ensure their rightful position at the top of the "Nice List" by leveraging the right smart availability (i.e., high availability) and SDP data security solutions that lead to optimal customer experiences (CX), increased spending and bolstered bottom-line growth.


About the Author


Don Boxley Jr is a DH2i ( co-founder and CEO. Prior to DH2i, Don held senior marketing roles at Hewlett-Packard where he was instrumental in sales and marketing strategies that resulted in significant revenue growth in the scale-out NAS business. Don has spent more than 20 years in management positions for leading technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard, CoCreate Software, Iomega, TapeWorks Data Storage Systems and Colorado Memory Systems.  Don earned his MBA from the Johnson School of Management, Cornell University.

Published Tuesday, November 26, 2019 11:31 AM by David Marshall
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