Case study introduction

Many of the case studies in this course will based on cybersecurity design challenges being faced by the fictional Tailwind Traders company.

In each case, the goal will be to understand the overall business objectives of the company, the specific requirements which need to be met and then provide technical capabilities which meet those requirements.

Tailwind Traders

Tailwind Traders is a modern commerce company. For more than 30 years, the company has been a popular retail destination. It has grown to more than 50 physical stores.

Several years ago, its chief executive officer (CEO) anticipated changes in retail and bought a competing e-commerce startup that was growing aggressively in niche markets. Today, the company is seen as an innovative leader with customer-focused local storefronts.

The retail innovation team reports to the company’s chief technology officer (CTO), who was the CEO of the acquired e-commerce start-up. Those technology solutions are the main hub for interactions with customers. Those solutions affect 60 percent of global revenue and produce 30 percent of annual gross sales.

Examples of those innovations include:

  • Boundless commerce: Originally a simple e-commerce solution, this custom-built platform now provides online and offline experiences for customers. Customers can make purchases from the platform. The mobile app gathers information from customers’ viewing history to customize the retail experience with in-store ads, shopping lists, and other interactions.
  • Analytics, AI, and robotics innovation: The team is experimenting with drone delivery, autonomous warehousing, and other AI-led approaches to reduce costs, scale through automation, and improve customer experiences. These experiments are built on big data, analytics, and AI solutions.

The new CIO is focused on improving technical operations in multiple areas to fuel greater innovation throughout the company while limiting disruptions to core business operations. The cloud will play an important role in this transition.