Tech Trends Report 2017: Transforming to the Digital Enterprise

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Tech Trends Report 2017: Transforming to the Digital Enterprise

By Peter Breen - 10/24/2017
Peter Breen, CGT

“All the ingredients for digital disruption are here. What’s missing are the new business models needed to drive it.”

Those words were spoken by Tony Saldanha, Procter & Gamble’s vice president of next generation services, as he spoke at a CGT conference in fall 2016. The IT visionary, of course, had no idea that he was aptly summarizing results from a CGT survey that would be conducted nearly one year later.

This summer, CGT surveyed consumer goods companies within its community to learn about the strategies, technologies and obstacles that are part of their digital transformation journeys. The results reveal that the industry might be in better shape than some of the business headlines suggest, with most companies already taking such critical steps as rethinking strategy, identifying priorities and adopting necessary technologies.

If you’re hopeful for goods news, then, it’s that nearly all companies who responded to the survey understand the urgent need for action: Only 8% of respondents said their organizations still don’t view digital transformation as a business imperative (see Figure 1). Roughly half (49%) of companies are already taking steps toward becoming the digitally driven, consumer focused organizations they need to be, and 28% consider themselves “well on their way” toward achieving that goal. (Inscrutably, 15% are apparently still waiting for more inspiration.)

Figure 1, Intro

It’s important to note, however, that nearly all of the companies that responded to CGT’s survey represent the traditional, mature consumer goods industry: the average number of years in business is 43; the average revenue size is $4.7 billion.

But traditional CGs aren’t simply competing against each other anymore. They’re facing a new wave of younger, smaller product manufacturers and hybrid manufacturers/retailers that have no need to adapt their organizations for the digital age because they were created by the digital age.

“For traditional hair color companies, technology is an add-on at the very end,” said Amy Errett, chief executive officer of 3-year-old category challenger Madison Reed. “For us, it’s a starting place for  everything.”

Taking the reality of this new competition into consideration, results from CGT’s survey might not be so good, because “taking steps” might not be enough any longer. Consumer goods companies probably need to step on the accelerator and shift their digital transformation efforts into higher gear. They must overcome the considerable obstacles to change that persist and make a full commitment to implementing the systems and processes needed to build internal capabilities, stronger external relationships, and new opportunities with consumers, as will be discussed throughout this report.


The Tech Trends Report 2017 presents results from an industry survey conducted by CGT in August/September that generated 96 total responses. The 44 consumer goods companies represented in the results have an average 43 years in business and $4.7 billion in annual revenue.

Participants were instructed to answer the questions with the following definition in mind: “Digital Transformation” is the adoption and implementation of digitally enabled technologies, systems and processes in an effort to modernize the enterprise and improve business productivity and performance.

Read the rest of the Tech Trends Report 2017: Transforming to the Digital Enterprise, by clicking each section below, or click here to download the full PDF