Walgreens announced a partnership with IBM to integrate retail analytics in the chain's service delivery and in-store productivity, according to an IBM announcement Friday. IBM Cloud will analyze service request history and offer insight into individual Walgreens’ locations support needs, helping to lay a foundation for anticipation and coordination of field technician dispatches.
The companies hope the move will generate proactive and predictive solutions to handle common problems and thus free up the IT professionals to focus on "higher value initiatives."
Business rules on the IBM PureApplication System automate routine administrative tasks for Walgreens, and have improved service levels, transaction times and labor utilization, according to an IBM case study on the companies' work together.
From the NHL to Walgreens, any company hoping to pull off a successful digital transformation is implementing Big Data and analytics as core principles. Market revenue for the tech is expected to hit $210 billion in 2020, and it will affect companies software, hardware and services.
Walgreens promoted Steve Turner to CIO in April; Turner will very likely need to focus on keeping the company's IT up to par with market competitors. CVS, which has received attention and praise for its own IT overhaul, emphasized its focus on scale at the beginning of the year as it looks to implement more modern tech in its own infrastructure.
The amount of data a company like Walgreens amasses is simply too large for any human, or team of humans, to manage in real time. While Walgreens may be a little later to the game than some of competitors, the company is putting forth a crucial effort to remain digitally relevant and upgrade its back-end infrastructure for the modern era.