& cplSiteName &

Target Looks to Open Source to Hit Bullseye

Mitch Wagner

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Open Networking Summit -- Target sees open source as essential to its digital business transformation, allowing the retail chain to control its own destiny.

Target Corp. is using digital, mobile and other technologies to improve the "guest experience " in its 1,806 US stores, says Lakshmi Sharma, Target vice president of cloud and computing, at a keynote here. Target wants to deliver the same "on-demand, anytime, anywhere" shopping experience on mobile in-store, or on the web. "No matter where you are, giving you the same experience, same quality," she said. The company is looking to provide in-store pickups for items ordered online, delivered within the hour.

Those goals require greater integration of the supply chain using software and other technology. "All of that is technology. Supply chain, software, and technology -- they all get mashed together," Sharma said.

Cloud Boss
Target's Lakshmi Sharma says open source plays a strategic role for the retailer.
Target's Lakshmi Sharma says open source plays a strategic role for the retailer.

As part of its digital transformation, Target reorganized its IT team, going from 70% offshore and the rest in-house, to the reverse -- 70% in-house and the remainder offshore. The IT department refined its focus, narrowing from 800 projects to 100. It built a culture of DevOps, Agile and "ruthless prioritization," she said.

In the future, Target is looking to focus on data to enhance the guest experience and optimize resources, Sharma said

Cloud and compute is an integral part of the strategy, using APIs to drive efficiency, with compute located in data centers, stores, distribution centers and the hybrid cloud.

The company is looking to simplify its environment, aggressively consolidating and removing legacy apps, standardizing compute, storage and networking, and using open source and reusing software, Sharma said.

Building software in-house and using open source has been essential to moving faster, Sharma said. "It wouldn't have been faster if we hadn't built these things on our own and had the support of the open source platform that we have," she said

What are the hottest jobs in the cloud. Get our special report to find out: 
Cloud Skills: What’s Hot?

Open source adoption leads to "tighter control on product delivery," she said.

Open source isn't just about cost, Sharma said. "You can't transform your business to do what nobody else has done if you don't control the software you use. When you use open source software, particularly if you're already contributing to it, the answer moves from 'You can't do that' to 'it will take about this much time -- how should we prioritize that?'"

Target looks to transform as the company faces business difficulties. The company told financial analysts in late February that it will rely more on low prices to compete with rivals like Wal-Mart and Amazon -- both of which have made heavy cloud investments -- and lowered its sales and profit estimates. (See How Walmart Builds Open Source Culture and AWS Tops in Public Cloud, but Azure Is Catching Up.)

— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Friend me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
I'm Back for the Future of Communications
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/20/2018
Verizon: Lack of Interoperability, Consistency Slows Automation
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/18/2018
AT&T Exec Dishes That He's Not So Hot on Rival-Partner Comcast
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2018
Facebook Hearings Were the TIP of the Data Iceberg
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/20/2018
Pay-for-Play Is a Sticking Point in Congress
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/18/2018
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed