Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schütte
University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Information Systems for Retail Companies – Challenges in the Era of Digitalisation

Reinhard Schütte will discuss the main challenges for application architectures of retailers, especially regarding the increasing digitalisation of business models and internal processes in retail companies. Worldwide the retail sector is driven by a strong intra-competition of existing retailers and an inter-competition between traditional and new pure digital players.

The challenges for retail companies can be differentiated into a business and an application system (architecture) perspective. The domain perspective is divided into five levels: master data, technical processes, value based processes, administrative processes and decision oriented tasks.

The application architecture management of retail companies is especially challenging in respect to the complexity of such systems. The traditional mass data problem in retail is increasing in times of big data and several different omni-channel-scenarios. This leads towards really large enterprise systems, which require an understanding of different measures of complexity and the development of competencies of people. So that the IT manager can gain and keep the flexibility and the software maintenance of applications (and the application architecture).


Reinhard Schütte holds the Chair for Integrated Information Systems at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Reinhard earned a master’s degree, a PhD and his Habilitation from the University of Muenster. He worked as research assistant at the Institute for Information Systems at the University of Muenster and at the Institute for Production an Industrial Information Management at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He took on a deputy-professorship for Industrial Management at the University of Koblenz-Landau and was professor for Information Management and Retail Information Systems at the Zeppelin University.

In a practise-oriented phase he was a board member in several retail companies, responsible for the implementation of large enterprise systems. Most recently he was accountable for the Lunar programme, the largest SAP implementation-project in the retail sector worldwide, at Germany’s largest retailer.

In his academic research he places the focus on the lifecycle of Enterprise Systems: how do we design and implement huge - standard software based - applications and architectures.