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The digital world is built on software. Code that enables extraordinary experiences, delivering cutting-edge products and services that are used at work, on the road, at home or anywhere people connect with content and each other.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that agility and elasticity are paramount to business differentiation, highlighting the need for modern software engineering approaches that include Agile, cloud-based development, DevOps with end-to-end automation and human-centric design. As remote work and digital interactions surge, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail companies must build more engaging experiences while enabling operational efficiencies, improved decision making and software-driven innovation to continually satisfy and delight customers.

We recently surveyed roughly 100 CPG and more than 170 retail business leaders worldwide — as part of a broad cross-industry study — to understand their modern software engineering ambitions. Our study revealed significant differences between the intent and tangible actions of their software agendas.

To emerge stronger, we offer six recommendations on ways CPG and retail companies can transform into software-centric businesses.