Foster looks into IT crystal ball Wednesday
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Retailing is up, according to NRF leaders

CEO Birket Foster of MB Foster has just returned from the largest annual conference of retailers, and he's filed this early report on trends that will help shape IT plans to meet rising consumer activity.

By Birket Foster

Retail has become the economy's recovery engine. That's what the National Retail Federation NRF (NRF) touted as its theme at the Big Show in New York this month. Among other companies, Ecometry sites, including some using HP 3000s, have a strong interest in retail trends. They are in a time of change with the software which they consider an ERP application.

They might be encouraged to make such IT changes because business in retail is on the rise. The 102nd version of the NRF show -- what's new in the retail industry -- reports that the sector is creating jobs, careers, community and innovation. Speakers at the Big Show provided insight into the role retail will play in the economic recovery of 2013.

The retail industry (restaurants included) was touted last year as providing 25 percent of the jobs -- and triggering plenty of the votes -- in America. The NRF became active in addressing US candidates and the legislators to send advocacy messages on policies, ones that advance jobs and growth in the retail sector. These included tax reform, retail fairness, workforce flexibility and even healthcare.

During 2013 it is still about changing America, but this time taking a leadership role. The NRF wants to get retail leaders to take action and make plans to help the economic recovery happen. Some of those plans will involve commitments in IT, in expansions or migrations.

The message is clear: retail needs to take a leadership position and set an example for all of America and get everybody to look at how they can help with recovery. Even Newswire readers can be thinking what they can do -- personal consumption is an easy way to boost the economy. [Editor's Note: There's also local consumption in our IT community to consider -- by shopping local for services and software from 3000-savvy vendors.]

At MB Foster we are tracking the trends, and leading a January 30 Webinar on Retail, all to provide more details.

As consumers in your community, you can help through volunteer projects, by buying local where possible, and providing leadership by starting things: hiring people, launching projects, innovating and making changes. These are steps along the path forward to a vibrant economy. Mentor the next generation -- invest in the processes and people that grow your business and keep the economy rolling.

Our January 30 webinar will provide lots more detail. If you are interested in starting a project in 2013, MBFoster would be pleased to be your technology partner and trusted advisor, helping you to change your world by moving from a vision to reality. We deliver on time and on budget -- it sounds cliché but it is what we do -- whether it is a data migration and application migration, integrating systems or even rethinking your customer's mobile experience. Give us a chance to give you a great experience in innovation and change.

Birket Foster can be reached at 1-800-ANSWERS (800-267-9377) extension 204, or by email at [email protected].