Driving consumer goods
innovation in the cloud

A C-suite perspective

As new cloud offerings continue to emerge, industry leaders increasingly view cloud as a business enabler outside of IT. Cloud conversations among executives have shifted emphasis from IT efficiency and cost flexibility to consumer/shopper engagement, collaboration and new business models.

“Driving Consumer Goods Innovation in the Cloud” is a collaboration between the Consumer Goods Forum and IBM. Based on over two dozen interviews with global retail and consumer products industry leaders, and extensive supporting research, the paper illuminates cloud’s potential as a driver of business value. Included in our analysis are the findings of a 2011 IBM/Economist Intelligence Unit survey of 572 business and technology executives around the globe on the use of cloud.

Our research reveals consumer products and retail companies at a crossroads: Most leaders recognize cloud’s potential, but are only beginning to execute strategies that leverage cloud to enable core business objectives. Interestingly, cloud is a central feature of both the industry’s response to those changes, and a driver of the changes itself. Rapid adoption of mobile technology, the explosion of social media, growth in “big data” and advanced analytics, globalization of value chains, and a steady stream of new entrants seeking to unseat established players – these trends are directly enabled by cloud.

Although cloud has practically become mainstream in the IT world, its promise extends well beyond technological innovation. In fact, cloud has the power to open doors to more efficient, responsive and innovative ways of doing business. In this new era of connected consumers, we believe the question is not whether, but how, leaders will choose to grow their businesses via the cloud.

At the same time, these trends are influencing Consumer Goods companies to leverage cloud capabilities to radically transform how business value is created. We see nimble new entrants leveraging cloud to enter and disrupt markets, and established firms rising to meet the challenge though new, cloud-enabled offerings, capabilities and business partnerships.

For a complete view of our research findings, register to download the full report

Driving consumer goods innovation in the cloud – A C-suite perspective

Meet the authors

  • Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell

    Partner, IBM Consumer Products Strategy & Transformation Consulting Practice

  • Ryan Dickey

    Ryan Dickey

    Senior Managing Consultant, IBM Strategy & Transformation Consulting

  • Justin Myers

    Justin Myers

    Senior Consultant, IBM Strategy & Transformation Consulting

About the Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) is a global, parity-based industry network, driven by its members. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of over 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries and reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format.