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This paper presents Accenture’s view on the future of technology for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.
Chief information officers (CIOs) have a key role in helping business leaders recognize and seize new opportunities—not just focusing on cutting costs or improving efficiency. The recent Accenture Technology Vision offers CIOs insights into six emerging technology trends—beyond the cloud, mobility and Big Data—that will significantly impact CPG companies.
Today, tech-savvy consumers are better informed when making purchase decisions and demand customized offers. At the same time, retailers expect CPG manufacturers to help them grow store sales and margins while consistently delivering the right products, prices and promotions.
To help CPG companies succeed in this challenging landscape, their IT leaders have a key role to play. They must take action and lead their enterprises through this turbulent new world. To drive future success, the ability to keep pace with technology as well as recognizing and quickly exploiting the opportunities enabled by new technology trends is more important than ever.
Accenture sees six technology trends majorly influencing the CPG sector over the next three to five years. These are:
Context-based services: These will drive the next wave of digital services—combining real-time signals from the physical world with location data, online activities, social media and other contextual inputs. For example, ConAgra is working to transform its online consumer experience and generate a 360-degree profile of every consumer in real time.
Converging data architectures: This will help rebalance the data architecture portfolio and convert data into meaningful insights. Procter & Gamble (P&G), for example, has established a Consumer Driven Supply Network (CDSN) that helps calibrate production based on demand in real time.
Industrialized data services: This enables sharing of data to make it more valuable by managing it differently. Take the case of Diageo which has implemented a single global SAP platform to harmonize data and processes for more than 85 percent of its business.
Social-driven information technology (IT): Social networking is not just a bolt-on marketing channel but has a business-wide impact. Pampers, the baby care business of P&G, has a strong and active presence on Facebook.
Platform-as-a-service (PaaS)-enabled agility: This helps shift the emphasis from cost-cutting to business innovation and supporting the rapid evolution of processes that need continuous change. For instance, P&G has set up FutureWorks which is responsible for creating new businesses, offerings, operating models and capabilities.
High-octane security: This involves preparing a second line of defense—data platforms—to mitigate the damage caused by attacks that threaten businesses.
As the CPG industry moves into the connected global world, IT leaders must take action now by starting the journey in step with their business colleagues. This collaboration demands detailed discussions with the rest of the company’s C-suite. CIOs must internalize the key technology trends so that they can talk about the impact new technologies will have on consumers, the business as well as on new initiatives.
August 27, 2012
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