In brief

In brief

  • Most CPG companies have only partly migrated to the cloud. They have reduced IT spend, but they are missing out on many bigger benefits.
  • The cloud powers advanced analytics and, when fully integrated, businesses can achieve unprecedented speed, flexibility and scale.
  • To reap the full benefits of cloud, the leadership team must understand and commit to the substantial business changes that cloud enables.

Barriers to fully moving to the cloud

Many CPGs are using the cloud, but they are stuck in the first phase of data migration due to several obstacles:

Many CPGs say they are “in the cloud,” yet they have migrated largely to reduce infrastructure/IT operating costs. They have stopped there.

Nearly two-thirds of executives said they haven’t achieved the results expected of their cloud initiatives to date1. Not surprisingly, they aren't getting benefits because they have yet to commit to the bigger operational changes required. Also, they haven’t invested in the necessary organizational, talent and technology resources.

The operational changes associated with a full transition to cloud are extensive and can seem insurmountable. According to our cloud research2 among CPG executives, 46% said the complexity of business and operational change was one of the two top barriers to adoption.

Business leader commitment

Full cloud adoption—and the subsequent benefits—will only happen when business leaders understand and commit to it. Cloud cannot be an initiative that is delegated. Leaders must treat cloud as a muscle to build, strengthen and maintain to drive business results. When the business and IT work together, they can build the capabilities to help achieve great value.

RELATED: Read Oliver Wright's Consumer Goods Technology article, 'Time to go all-in on cloud technology'

Forty-two percent of executives see misalignment between IT and the business as a barrier to full cloud adoption, according to our cloud research

The cloud as a catalyst and accelerator

Real-time insights from connected data

Integrate and mine different large data sets. Increase data security, accuracy, synchronization, curation, distribution. Achieve real-time reporting.

Immediate access to new capabilities and products

Gain access to a full suite of new capabilities and products and to state-of-the-art solutions supported by built in continuous improvement.

Ability to leapfrog digital natives

Advance business capabilities to quickly leapfrog and gain capabilities the unicorns and cloud native companies have.

Simulation abilities at people’s fingertips

Access to AI and ML capabilities in a seamless way via parallel processing, use of Big Data and access to improved ML algorithms.

Increased collaboration across the ecosystem

Cloud serves as a connector to the wider ecosystem. Improves collaboration and information sharing across partners, clients and customers.

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Three steps to help CPGs unlock value

Business and IT leaders both must be on board and involved with cloud adoption. They can begin by collaborating on the overall strategy and vision, determining how cloud can enable business transformation. Consider creating a new C-suite position to bridge the business and IT sides. This person could play an integral role in guiding a cloud journey that is centered on business results.

Start with the end state in mind. What new capabilities can cloud enable in the next two to three years? Where are speed and flexibility needed most? What business problems can the cloud help solve? Think about those goals and prioritize them based on their promise and potential value they can bring. These decisions will inform the overall path to the cloud along with short-term solutions such as which projects to pilot first.

The potential business impact increases exponentially as adoption increases. Develop the migration and modernization plan on how to move to a business value-focused cloud strategy. Modernize existing applications for the cloud. Create new cloud-native applications and transform the architecture. Establish a governance model and full change management program to measure outcomes and create and sustain behavior change.

About the Authors

Marc van der Net

Managing Director – Cloud-First Lead, Consumer Goods & Services

Oliver Wright

Senior Managing Director – Consumer Goods & Services, Global Lead

Liz Deninzon

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy, Consumer Goods and Services

Gregor Davidson

Managing Director – Technology Strategy & Advisory, Consumer Goods & Services


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