IT Must Drive Digital Transformation, New Report States

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IT Must Drive Digital Transformation, New Report States

By CGT Staff - 09/12/2017

Traditional consumer packaged goods companies confronted by changing consumer demands and younger, more nimble competitors must leverage digital technologies to reinvent both their operating models and their business strategies.

These CPGs must adapt "so no matter the consumer preference, the channel, or the technology, the company is there waiting for the consumer, providing the right product or service to fulfill [her] individual needs" according to a new report from the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) and Accenture.

As implied in its title, “IT Leaders: Seize the Opportunity to Drive Digital Transformation,” the report implores information technology executives to help their companies "evolve to a modern enterprise which can operate at two speeds: one for efficiency to support the core business and one for agility to support the new" models that must be established.

"IT has an opportunity to be the agent of change for grocery manufacturers to do this, anticipating disruption and bringing expertise in innovation and execution that will
 reinvent the organization," it concludes. But while IT should be "leading the charge and helping to establish the right mindset across the organization … IT teams cannot do it alone — all functions have a part in digital transformation."

The report identifies three "core areas" of transformation:

Consumer, Customer and Employee Delight: Companies must understand all stakeholders to design experiences and services that will renew relevance and drive growth.

A Reoriented Business: A "value-obsessed operating model" must be focused on consumer-centricity and supported by a flexibility-infused organizational culture.

Flexible Platforms: CPGs must create "a scalable, agile company through technology-driven innovation and analytics, modular offerings, and dynamic support."

Critical Technologies & Capabilities
Critical Technologies & Capabilities (Source: Accenture/GMA)

"Digital tools and capabilities can be effective in breaking down silos, but it takes people to truly break down organizational walls. And when that happens, digital transformation at speed can begin," the report asserts. "IT executives have an opportunity to lead their organizations through this operational and organizational transformation."

Among the "table stakes" digital technologies and capabilities that CPGs should already be deploying are enterprise connectivity, security, product information management, digital asset management, web content management, customer relationship management, supply chain visibility and predictive analytics. "Leaders have [these] figured out ... laggards are running out of time," the report warns.

Industry leaders are already innovating in the areas of artificial intelligence/machine learning, agile analytics, cognitive computing, robotics and the internet of things, it states. And the "next wave" of adoption will encompass augmented/virtual reality, 3D printing and blockchain (see graphic, above).

The full report is available on the GMA website.