Target names new information officer
MINNEAPOLIS — Effective May 5, Bob DeRodes will lead Target’s information technology transformation as EVP and chief information officer, as the retailer continues to recover from the data breach late last year.
Target also provided details on additional security enhancements it has made following that breach — which reportedly resulted in the theft of 40 million credit and debit card records and 70 million other records of customer details — and shared plans to incorporate MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology across its REDcard portfolio.
DeRodes will assume oversight of the Target technology team and operations, with responsibility for the ongoing data security enhancement efforts as well as the development of Target’s long-term information technology and digital roadmap. The company is continuing its active search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.
“Establishing a clear path forward for Target following the data breach has been my top priority. I believe Target has a tremendous opportunity to take the lessons learned from this incident and enhance our overall approach to data security and information technology. Bob’s history of leading transformational change positions him well to lead our continued breach responses and guide our long-term digital strategy,” said chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel.
DeRodes comes to Target with more than 40 years of experience. He has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. In addition, DeRodes has provided independent advisory services to corporations, private equity firms and boards. DeRodes has also held top technology positions at a number of industry-leading, multinational companies including CitiBank, USAA Federal Savings Bank, First Data, Home Depot and Delta Air Lines. He also serves on the board of directors for NCR Corporation.
“I look forward to helping shape information technology and data security at Target in the days and months ahead. It is clear to me that Target is an organization that is committed to doing whatever it takes to do right by their guests,” said DeRodes.
Since the initial confirmation of the data breach, Target has been conducting an investigation. During that time, the company has taken what it calls “significant actions” to further strengthen security across the network, including — but not limited to — the development of point-of-sale management tools, review and streamlining of network firewall rules and development of a comprehensive firewall governance process; reviewing and limiting vendor access; and a coordinated reset of 445,000 Target team member and contractor passwords, broadening the use of two-factor authentication, expansion of password vaults, disabled multiple vendor accounts, reduced privileges for certain accounts, and developing additional training related to password rotation.
Target has also deployed a new initiative as part of its accelerated transition to chip-and-PIN-enabled REDcards. Beginning in early 2015, the entire REDcard portfolio, including all Target-branded credit and debit cards, will be enabled with MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution. Existing co-branded cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards. Ultimately, through this initiative, all of Target’s REDcard products will be chip-and-PIN secured.
Earlier this year, Target announced an accelerated $100 million plan to move its REDcard portfolio to chip-and-PIN-enabled technology and to install supporting software and next-generation payment devices in stores. The new payment terminals will be in all 1,797 U.S. stores by this September, six months ahead of schedule. In addition, by early next year, Target will enable all REDcards with chip-and-PIN technology and begin accepting payments from all chip-enabled cards in its stores.
“Target has long been an advocate for the widespread adoption of chip-and-PIN card technology,” said John Mulligan, EVP and CFO for Target. “As we aggressively move forward to bring enhanced technology to Target, we believe it is critical that we provide our REDcard guests with the most secure payment product available. This new initiative satisfies that goal.”
Nielsen: Millennials mean business
NEW YORK — Looking to “break the myths” about millennials, and help marketers and brands effectively engage with them, Nielsen has released a new report, dubbed “Millennials: Breaking the Myths of this No Strings Attached Generation.”
Millennials are big business. Defined by Nielsen as those between 18 years and 36 years of age, millennials are 77 million strong in the United States — on par with baby boomers — and account for 24% of the country’s population. Their incomes may still be on the rise, but this group’s size and age range equate to impressive purchasing power in the long term.
“According to Forbes, millennials spend up to $200 billion annually. All told, millennials are shaping the present and owning the future with more purchasing power and decision-making ability than ever,” said Beth Brady, president of Nielsen segmentation and local market solutions. “So, in order to make the most of this $200 billion opportunity, we would suggest the following four-step process: Identify your best consumers within millennials, develop products and content to meet their needs, engage them through effective and efficient marketing, and activate your plan through superior sales execution.”
Millennials still are climbing the income ladder ($25,000 median income for younger millennials and $48,000 median income for older millennials), so while they may want the latest and greatest products, they need to be savvy and thrifty. In light of this, their spending often exceeds baby boomers in drug stores, warehouse clubs, supercenters and mass merchandisers.
“When it comes to spending money, millennials are more likely to live paycheck to paycheck, but still want the latest and great products. So, they tend to make impulse purchases. They make fewer shopping trips than their older counterparts, but they spend more per trip — $54 versus $46 per trip for baby boomers. Millennials are strong mobile and online shoppers, but e-commerce still makes up only 6% of overall retail sales in 2013,” Brady said. “As for their deal-seeking behavior, while millennials may not be clipping coupons the way baby boomers do, they are still focused in on shopping deals. Deals account for 31% of their shopping dollars, and the top 20 apps are either retail or discount focused, with Amazon Mobile and Groupon topping the charts.”
Nielsen also noted that millennials are likely to spend more on a product from a company that has programs that give back. When they buy, they care about a brand’s social impact, making them receptive to cause marketing.
When developing products for millennials, Nielsen stressed that they desire authenticity, niche, personalization and customization.
“If they like your product, they will share their opinion, and their vast social network is likely to take notice. However, beware of crossing them because that same vast social network can turn on a dime, and recovering from bad press is expensive and difficult,” Brady said.
But how do you reach them? According to Nielsen, millennials spend less of their time watching TV. In fact, millennials make up 50% of no-TV households, relying instead on their smartphones and laptops to watch content on YouTube, Hulu and Netflix.
And when they do watch TV — likely event-related programming like Sunday Night Football or Comedy Central — they also are engaged with social media, commenting on what they like and dislike.
Additional highlights from the report include:
- Diverse, expressive and optimistic: Millennials are characterized by more than just their age. As a group, they’re more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation. They value self-expression and artistic pursuits. They’ve been hit hard by the recent turbulence in the economy, but their high education levels and optimism foreshadow their potential for future success.
- Driving a social movement back to the cities: If they’re not still living with mom and dad, millennials are fueling an urban revolution looking for the vibrant, creative energy cities offering a mix of housing, shopping and offices right outside their doorstep. They’re walkers, and they are less interested in the car culture that defined baby boomers.
- Struggling, but they have an entrepreneurial spirit: The Great Recession has hit them particularly hard. They’re dealing with high unemployment, low income and high student loans as they try to establish themselves. However, some millennials have hit it big by investing in startups and following their own entrepreneurial pursuits.
- Connected and want the personal touch: Technology defines millennials. They sleep with their mobile phones and post status updates from the bathroom. When interacting with companies via social media, they value authenticity. They want to feel like they have a personal, direct interaction with the brand, and in return, they’ll advocate and endorse that brand.
Curating the life science data cloud
As lifetime earnings for pharmaceuticals decrease, commercialization expenses increase and payers tighten their belts on reimbursement, life science companies will be faced with shrinking margins over the next few years. In order to maintain basic operating margin levels and continue investing in research and development at current levels, life science manufacturers will be forced to reduce costs by more than $35 billion by 2017, according to results from a new survey of 70 life science organizations from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
In order to produce cost savings and keep their businesses operationally efficient in the advent of change, IMS suggests in its new report, “Riding the Information Technology Wave in Life Sciences: Priorities, Pitfalls and Promise,” that the most reasonable approach is to adopt a strategy based on data integration and cloud-based technologies. To preserve operating margins, drug manufacturers need to incorporate new technologies and streamline the transfer and curation of data both internally and externally.
To offset rising expenditures, companies already have begun to reduce their marketing teams, outsource some of their in-house functions and adjust their drug development strategies to focus on specialty medications and therapies associated with smaller patient populations, noted the report. “We believe the large global pharmaceutical companies have more restructuring to undertake to remove costs from their business operations,” noted Murray Aitken, executive director, IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. “Further efforts are needed to bring efficiencies to the commercial operations of life sciences companies.”
The authors of the report explained that the best use of the new, more efficiently packaged data housed on the cloud would be to inform future campaigns and improve multichannel marketing operations, track audience engagement and feedback through social media-based applications and patient mobile apps, and run commercial operations applications, such as those used by sales teams. Rather than spend money to produce and store company data, manufacturers could run these company functions through cloud-based applications. In addition, according to IMS, “companies typically experience a minimum of 20% to 30% on operating costs and lower total cost of ownership when moving their infrastructure to the cloud.”
Although pharmaceutical manufacturers have historically been resistant to the uptake of social and mobile applications, the report stated there is a new willingness to shift to the cloud, as cloud companies are improving compliance and becoming more sensitive to HIPAA-related issues. Plus, 74% of respondents reported a high or greater level of need to derive insights and value from data, particularly from specialty patient populations.
The report predicted that cloud-based technologies would contribute to better coordination across departments and would save time that would normally be wasted on data reconciliation, however, there could be some potential risks associated with the use of this technology, including security breaches, the intellectual property issues surrounding ownership of the data and/or the loss of control of the data, the report suggested. In addition, while the report noted that there may be a large cost associated with switching data from a “legacy” system, it does not address the costs associated with training employees on the new technology.
While the report contended “healthcare-specific data models with standardized fields are needed to merge and share patient electronic medical records,” there also could be some instances where companies don’t want to share what they consider to be proprietary data. Some pharmaceutical manufacturers don’t necessarily want competing companies to know which fields they are capturing within their forms, and some clinicians could argue that there is no such thing as a “standard” field in data collection, especially as it relates to complex medications that fall into the specialty or oncology category.
However, IMS’ Aitken predicted the adoption of integrated systems will allow for the “democratization of analysis” and will help manufacturers make assessments and conclusions about the success or relative failure of a drug launch and its marketing activities.
“The healthcare industry is beginning to speak the language of real-world evidence,” Aitken said. “We think this is a significant step forward in helping life science companies not only understand how their products are being used but, more importantly, how they should and can be used to lower costs, as well as achieve improved patient outcomes.”
For the full report, including the charts, click here.