Enterprise-wide perspective empowers retail CIOs to overcome operational silos and become true change-agents using disruptive technology to innovate and drive business growth.
In today’s rapidly changing, consumer-centric retail landscape, there is a critical need for retail CIOs to transition from a focus on the ‘back office’ to driving innovation as C-level strategists, according to a study released today by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organization.
TCS commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct the December 2013 study, ‘The Global Agenda of Retail CIOs,’ to evaluate the state of IT within the global retail industry and CIOs’ attitudes and plans toward key trends and ever-more disruptive, challenging technologies. In-depth interviews with senior business and IT executives at global retailers found that the potential for CIOs to embrace disruptive technologies are too often hampered by a lack of key resources and business alignment. This is illustrated through the fact that almost two thirds (64 percent) of global retailers consider cost reduction as a major focus over the next few years, versus only two fifths (38 percent) citing innovation.
“Retail CIOs are uniquely positioned with an enterprise-wide perspective to overcome operational silos and become true change-agents, critical to future cross-channel customer engagements and business growth,” said Pratik Pal, President, Retail, CPG, Travel, Transportation and Hospitality, TCS. “They are primed to expand their leadership role in the dynamic new world of retail by spearheading the digital and innovation agenda.”
Retail business executives’ core priorities remain revenue growth – with 87 percent listing it as a top priority - underpinned by multichannel integration and digital customer engagement. Retail CIOs believe that the disruptive technologies of mobility, social media, cloud and Big Data will continue to radically transform the retail industry status quo, yet they are not staffed or structured adequately to take full advantage.
Mobile: At the forefront of innovation that will continue to disrupt retail over the next years
Cloud: Frees up IT teams from traditional core functions to allow greater innovation
Big Data: Not yet being used to its full potential to drive actionable insights
Social: Looking to expand the reach and application of social media intelligence
Talent Shortage: Lack of technical skills a key obstacle in implementing critical technology strategies
“Savvy CIOs will continue to drive cost savings while accessing the latest technology innovations and leveraging partners to provide not only commodity services but also high value and hard to find capabilities like mobile development, architecture and business requirement definition,” added TCS’ Pratik Pal. “In doing so, CIOs can concentrate their internal resources on strategy, business alignment and partner governance, while partners concentrate on technical excellence.”
Source: Tata Consultancy Services