Why Item Intelligence is Powering the Future of Retail IT

May 19, 2015 Larry Arnstein



When you’re right, you’re right. Having studied and then lived the technology adoption life cycle as modeled by Geoffrey Moore in his famous book “Crossing the Chasm”, all I can say is that he was right. And what a pleasure it is to have emerged into the mainstream adoption phase for RAIN RFID in retail after more than 8 years with Impinj working alongside many others to make it happen. So you can imagine my delight in being scheduled to speak right after Mr. Moore at the SPS In:fluence 2015 conference in Minneapolis.

In his talk, Moore applied his model to the evolution of retail IT systems. In the past, Moore explained, retail IT was mainly focused on “Systems of Record”, which are about transactions and tracking the state of the business. Competitive pressures and rising consumer expectations have not only intensified the need for accurate and timely Systems of Record, they have driven retailers to invest in Systems of Engagement that digitally enhance in-store shopping experiences. And yet, he points out, even that is not enough. Retailers have to develop Systems of Intelligence that help them anticipate the future and respond to demand signals across their entire supply chain.

I find Moore’s concept of Systems of Record, Systems of Engagement, and Systems of Intelligence to be an excellent framework for retailers to use when thinking about short-term and long-term IT investments, and it explains why the demand for RAIN RFID solutions in retail is growing so fast. Item Intelligence based on RAIN RFID technology is essential for all three systems because it helps retailers identify, locate, and authenticate their products to increase profits and customer satisfaction.  This need is evident by Impinj's recent announcement that we sold our 10 billionth RAIN RFID chip, of which retail was a primary driver.

Watch the video below of my talk at SPS In:fluence 2015 (beginning at the 16:50 mark) and learn more about technology adoption from Geoffrey Moore's YouTube channel. I hope you’ll enjoy and share your thoughts about Item Intelligence and retail IT with me in the comments section. Also, I want to thank SPS for the invitation to speak and learn.


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