According to Reuters, Walmart has spent millions of dollars and nearly five years to build six giant server farms. Apparently, each is larger than ten football fields! This is turning out to be quiet an advantage for the traditional retailer, as it manages to outpace industry peers and also sets an example to traditional businesses in transitioning into the digital age.
Obviously, before this data strategy was employed, Walmart’s data strategy was at a point called data serves the purpose, as per the data strategy blueprint. The data strategy blueprint is one of the many tools in my book, ‘The Billion Dollar Byte.’ Clearly, from that starting position and with the right kind of focus on data, they have graduated to a point called data as a capability. Of course, the holy grail for Walmart is to achieve a state called data as an asset.
The capability that Walmart has invested in, is to process a humongous amount of customer data in-house. All this being performed on proprietary servers that enable the company’s data capabilities. This capability has in fact enabled the growth of Walmart’s e-commerce business.
Furthermore, Reuters reports that since implementing its cloud strategy, Walmart is now able to make over 170000 monthly changes to its website software. A Chief Technology Officer’s dream has actually come true! Previously, Walmart was able to do less than 100 changes.
Fabulous! Walmart’s data strategy has made it more agile.
This is an exciting cloud adoption case and must serve as a great inspiration to CxOs of other large traditional organisations, such as banks and insurance companies, specifically.
Interestingly, the financial sector is known to have major security concerns when it comes to their cloud strategy. However, Walmart’s strategy should provide the financial sector with some fresh ideas to pursue.
When leaders of traditional companies review their strategy through a lens of the data strategy blueprint, they will know exactly what steps to take in order to become a business in the digital age.