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Ocado Interim Results: Committing to Change Needs Digital Expertise on the Board Level

Today’s Ocado’s interim results will capture the attention of investors, following its recent announcement to raise investment to bolster its technology and increase its warehouse capacity. In recent weeks, the online grocer planned to raise at least £200 million through a bond sale. This followed its decision to sign a deal with an unnamed European retailer, licensing its grocery storage and distribution technology to international supermarkets.

As stores continue to battle against the tide with more consumers turning online for their shopping, grocers are also feeling the pressure to evolve their business models. Ocado took the lead by becoming the first to begin trials with a self-driving delivery truck last week. As the company strengthens its online grocery delivery service, it requires directors to have a robust understanding of technology to support its growth ambitions.

Automation, AI, Big Data and Cloud computing are challenging executives to become more literate in technology. Digital expertise goes beyond the remit of IT teams as board level executives have a responsibility to put digital on the agenda and craft a strategic response to the opportunities and threats surrounding technology.

Farida - high res

Farida Gibbs, CEO of Gibbs Hybrid Workforce Solutions, comments, “Every company is now becoming a technology company, as no business can create, deliver its product or services or engage with customers efficiently without technology. Businesses like Ocado who are making the strategic decision to inject investment into their digital capabilities, need to have board members who have a foundational knowledge of technology in order to steer the business in the right direction. Without adequate technology knowledge, boards will struggle to make informed decisions when considering which new technologies to implement and how to gain business value.”

Farida continues, “The decision of going ahead and directing investment towards Ocado’s autonomous delivery trucks, would require a combination of industry and digital to shape their strategy. Navigating through the digital era requires the board to have sufficient technology knowledge to set the course for the team on the ground.  Adopting a digital mind-set starts with the board setting a tone for the rest of the workforce which can filter down through the organisation. Investment in new technology and talent goes hand in hand, as frontline staff need the digital skills to help exploit the full potential of these innovative tools.”

Gibbs Hybrid Workforce Solutions is a technology consultancy and project management solutions company, with a commitment to deliver a pipeline of digital talent at high speed.  Gibbs support global brands in their efforts to embrace digital transformation and navigate through the fast changing business landscape.


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