The internet has come a long way since the first web site went live in 1990. As the the online world evolved, the cyber-shopping industry gradually developed as well, bringing consumers from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to a combination of online and physical storefronts, or in Amazon’s case, an online-only experience.
Consumers are continuing to change their purchasing habits as more retailers are making their in-store offerings available for purchase online and through mobile devices. While retailers work to improve the overall customer experience across all channels, customers are increasingly turning toward e-commerce to complete their shopping transactions. In fact, according to an eMarketer report, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020, and sales in the U.S. alone are projected to cross $423 billion in 2016.
Unfortunately, online activities — including “retail therapy” — are also making more businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks than ever before.
Companies with any sort of cyber infrastructure — a website, cloud storage, an online point-of-sale terminal or even credit card payment systems in their physical facility — are at a potential risk for a cyberattack. As a result, businesses across every industry are scrambling to both understand the issues and invest in cybersecurity. And, with the holiday season right around the corner, retail companies across the country and around the globe need to pay special attention to cybersecurity as online shoppers search for the perfect gift. Retailers are particularly exposed because overseeing cybersecurity threats has become more difficult as legacy software systems grow older and lose the agility to support the needs of modern businesses. While retailers are increasingly investing in e-commerce technologies, they also continue to struggle integrating them with outdated and complicated legacy systems.
Aging legacy systems don’t allow retailers to produce, test and introduce new digital offerings across all of the various channels as quickly as some e-commerce technologies do. As a result, these outdated legacy systems aren’t able to compete with the more flexible, modern, mobile-first e-commerce architectures. The problem is exacerbated by the fact most retail databases contain sensitive customer information, like credit card numbers. Clearly, securing these databases is crucial. The burgeoning problem surrounding cybersecurity is forcing retailers to make incremental changes towards a digitally enabled platform, rather than making a complete transformation.
Due to a combination of cost, complexity and — in many cases — a lack of understanding and expertise, the increasingly digital marketplace is driving many retailers to adopt patchwork solutions that could function today but pose security problems both today and down the line. Breaches across the retail sector are not only costly, but they are putting consumers at very real risk for identity theft. This, in turn, places a legal and reputational risk factor on retailers.
To protect themselves, companies must renounce their legacy systems and adopt emerging technologies in order to completely embrace and carry out digital strategies. But even then, what’s new today is old tomorrow, meaning a modernization capability needs to institutionalized in every business such that the capability is ready and available when the need arises.
According to a TechTarget article, the vice president and CIO of the Aldo Group, a global chain of shoe and accessory stores headquartered in Montreal, found that integrating new technology into their legacy system was “key” to securing the company’s largest-ever Black Friday and Cyber Monday in its e-commerce sales history.
As the Aldo Group example exhibits, IT systems across the entire retail landscape need to be modernized in order to protect not only retailers, but their consumers, as well. With Morphis’ modernization expertise, retailers will be able to protect themselves and their customers by providing logical, effective and complete solutions for modernizing legacy applications. Additionally, our modernization approach saves our clients time and money while removing the risk associated with modernization. Get in touch with Morphis today to discover how we can help you!