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Consumer markets

Consumer-facing companies look to cloud for revenue growth

Consumer-facing companies, among the hardest hit by the pandemic and resulting economic fallout, now face the challenge of restoring revenue growth as well as sustaining new revenue streams. They’re turning to cloud-based digital transformations to lead the way. Consumer markets (CM) executives in our PwC US Cloud Business Survey are far more likely than their counterparts in other sectors to measure cloud value via revenue growth (34% versus 19%).

Their focus is appropriate because cloud’s greatest potential for CM companies could come from serving customers in new channels with greater convenience, generating new brand loyalty and greater trip frequency.

But change takes time. So far, just 11% of CM companies report realizing substantial value in using cloud solutions to increase profits, while 6% say the same for boosting innovation. The biggest cloud success to date has been improving resilience and agility, a timely business objective in the wake of the pandemic, with 19% of CM executives saying they’ve already realized substantial value (versus 16% overall).

Bar chart - How your organization is primarily measuring value realized from cloud

Q: How is your organization primarily measuring value realized from cloud? Source: PwC Cloud Business Survey June 15, 2021: Total 524, CM leaders 130

What’s keeping CM companies from turning cloud solutions into bottom-line growth and consistent innovation? The top two reported barriers are a lack of alignment and clarity on roles and responsibilities relating to cloud ownership (68% versus 48% overall) as well as a lack of tech talent (68% versus 51% for all sectors). Other obstacles include governance, value measurement and stakeholder engagement. 

These obstacles collectively point to a common cloud challenge for CM companies. Procuring new cloud capabilities can be quick and can appear easier than previous challenges, such as building a new data center, transforming customer engagement, or deploying e-commerce or order management capabilities. But such apparent ease could lead to redundant cloud solutions, increased cost and integration complexity, which collectively can slow down operations or fail to deliver value.

In fact, cloud requires a broader transformation with new metrics, governance and organizational structures. When done well, we believe these measures can engage and align executives, attract tech talent and help the business choose cloud solutions that truly support revenue growth.

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Josh Goldman

Principal, US Cloud & Digital Sector Platform Leader, PwC US


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