The loss prevention department and the information technology department used to handle separate functions of the retail environment. Increasingly, however, loss prevention duties require a strong relationship with (and even a dependence on) the technology department. As retail security solutions evolve to become more sophisticated, LP and AP must find ways to integrate them into the network and work with IT to manage the data and analytics side of the system.
Garett Seivold, contributing writer, looks at the relationship between LP and IT in a feature article in the March-April 2017 issue of LP Magazine. In the article, Seivold speaks with a dozen LP executives about the strategic alignment between loss prevention duties and IT management. From the article:
For loss prevention to successfully team with technology departments on, say, a new IP camera roll out, it’s vital to approach them respectfully. Demonstrate an appreciation for their resource challenges and their concerns regarding network security—and certainly don’t arrive at the table spoiling for a fight.
“I think LP and IT can be unnecessarily adversarial at times because they’re expecting the relationship to be contentious,” said Tom Meehan, CFI, director of technology and investigations for Bloomingdale’s. But for LP and IT to be good working partners, LP has to come looking for a true partner, he suggested. “Imagine you’re going to do an interrogation and someone from IT comes in and says, ‘This is how we’re going to do it.’ That approach just doesn’t work.”
Christian Romero, data privacy and protection associate at the Technocracy Group, says LP managers may need to recalibrate their perception of IT for partnerships to flourish. He warned against holding onto an us-versus-them mindset and the perception of IT as “the guys that are always saying no” and act as roadblocks to your LP projects. “Oftentimes with LP, we will ask, ask, ask—and LP is not giving. It has to be two-way, give and take, to demonstrate, ‘I understand where you’re coming from,’ and to be open and receptive to new ideas,” advised Romero.
One of the major obstacles impeding effective collaboration may be the knowledge and skill gap between the two departments. Check out “Building an Unbreakable LP–IT Bond” to see suggestions for ways in which LP may become better partners with IT. You can also visit the Table of Contents for the March–April 2017 issue or register for a free subscription to the magazine.