IT strategy goes digital-first at retail grocer

KPMG's CIO Advisory helped the retailer create competitive advantage via IT strategy.

A major international grocery retailer
Consumer and retail
IT strategy
  • Client challenge
  • Benefits to client
  • Approach
  • KPMG insights

Client challenge

A new Chief Information Officer (CIO)—leading what had been a traditionally organized and operated Information Technology (IT) organization—faced the challenge of developing a strategy that would use technology to enable business success.

The business itself had recently developed a long-term strategy, but the technology strategy was not aligned with it. At the same time, the food industry was experiencing major technology-driven disruption and was moving rapidly toward a click-and-collect approach to customer service. The CIO recognized the need for a digital-first strategy that would provide a competitive advantage.

Benefits to client

KPMG in the US helped the grocery retailer develop a thorough IT strategy for its U.S. operations that tied directly to the company’s overall business strategy. The digital-first plan included a road map for changes in the organization’s technical architecture; application portfolio; and operating, financial, and organizational models. The plan, and funding to move it forward, was approved by the client’s Board of Directors.


This client engaged KPMG in the US to develop a strategy that would give them a distinct advantage in a market where customers increasingly go online before setting foot inside a store. KPMG’s approach for developing the strategy itself—and the road map for achieving the strategy—included:

  • understanding the company’s current IT situation and its business priorities
  • giving the client deep knowledge about disruptive competitive, technology, and industry trends driving changes in its market
  • a workshop in our Innovation Lab, which includes a presentation of in-depth research in the client’s market and the business challenges it faced
  • an e-brainstorming process that provided opportunities for employees to provide anonymous input
  • identifying new business opportunities
  • providing outside-in and inside-out input for development of the strategy
  • partnering with experts in the grocery industry, IT, and change management for critical insights.

KPMG insights

Align IT strategy with a well-articulated business strategy

Effective IT strategies cannot be developed in a vacuum. It is critical that business sponsors, stakeholders, industry experts, and consultants are closely involved in the development of technology strategies that drive competitive advantage for the business.

Seek top-down and bottom-up perspectives

Seeking perspectives from all levels of the organization is critical. A facilitated approach can be used to validate insights, identify opportunities, and highlight challenges that may face the organization as it goes through changes.

Keep it simple

Adapting communications to various audiences is critical to successful implementation. Go into detail when detail is necessary, but strive for simplicity. 

This client aligned IT strategy with a well-articulated business strategy.