Recent research from IDC shows that the industry collaborative cloud (ICC) market is growing rapidly. Across multiple industries, including retail, financial services, healthcare, government and more, ICC companies represent more than $1 billion in revenue. Even more, that number is projected to exceed $20 billion by the end of 2020.
As outlined by IDC, ICC models take one of three forms:
- Information driven – pooling and sharing information using ICC as an ecosystem for data aggregation. This maximizes transparency, which in turn shortens product development cycles.
- Operations driven – optimizing pooled resources using ICC to maximize operational benefits. This is particularly important in the supply chain to manage operational needs.
- Technology driven – ICC is built around IT functionalities, like datacenter and analytics. This increases accuracy and efficient reporting.
It’s no surprise this movement is growing so quickly. We’ve been saying it all along – we can achieve more through collaboration than we can in isolation. This is particularly true in retail, where companies are pressured to increase speed-to-market and improve operational efficiency, while managing numerous industry partnerships. Unfortunately, retail hasn’t adapted as well other industries, and retail shows the lowest use of ICC technology across all verticals. In fact, when compared to the average across verticals, almost twice as many retailers don’t even consider ICC relevant for their business.
Whichever form it takes, an ICC platform would facilitate communication and collaborative processes, allowing retailers to remain focused on product creation and development. By using this kind of platform, retailers can build a community of suppliers, manufacturers, designers and other entities, fostering better relationships and encouraging innovation. With a focus on building a B2B community, retailers create a less linear product development process that actually mimics how consumers buy products on the front end. This approach dramatically shortens the design-to-delivery window, speeding the timeline between inspiration and product in-market, which saves retailers both time and money. With an ICC platform, retailers can collaborate with the entire retail ecosystem from the start of development, leading to valuable idea generation and co-creation opportunities that result in products their consumers really want.
Retailers need to catch up with the rest of the world and embrace technology that makes their jobs easier. Collaboration and co-creation are key for retailers looking to survive as mega-brands like Amazon and Walmart dominate, because everyone involved – retailers, designers, brands, partners, suppliers, mills, agents, customers, etc. – benefits from the experience when knowledge and resources are pooled to develop the next big thing. Each party has the opportunity to tap into expertise, experience, and knowledge they wouldn’t have otherwise had access to if they worked within a silo.
Despite the abundance of tools available, the majority (63 percent) of retailers are still using applications like Outlook and Excel to manage complex sourcing relationships. Success starts with a change in mindset, leaving outdated methods behind and moving to a more collaborative environment to design, develop and deliver products at consumer speed. Retailers need a platform that allows them to tap into the entire retail community and collaborate, leveraging the experience, expertise and creativity of the people they work with every day.
See how an ICC platform like Bamboo Rose can help you collaborate with industry partners to save time and money in the product development process.