Delivering Game Changing, Technology-Driven Business Models

P&G (Procter & Gamble) is a top global consumer packaged goods company. As winner of the Most Influential IT Leader of 2017, in the Chemicals and Allied Products Category, we interviewed Rosa Maria Cruz to discover more about the firm’s rich history and the vital role IT plays in their work.


P&G (Procter & Gamble) boasts a rich history of over 175 years, providing superior branded products and services that improve the lives of the world’s consumers daily. They specialise in a wide range of cleaning, personal care and hygienic products, with iconic brands such as Tide, Pampers, Crest and Olay. Their total brand portfolio includes 65+ global brands, serving almost 5 billion consumers around the world. Rosa begins the interview by enlightening us on her own role in the firm and her thoughts on P&G winning the prestigious Most Influential IT Leader of 2017 award in the Chemicals and Allied Products Category.

“I am part of the global business services business unit, where we provide more than 170 employee and business services, including Information Technology (IT) services, finance, facilities, purchasing, and employee services as well as business building solutions. Currently, I hold an IT executive position, driving disruptive innovation as part of our IT- Next Generation Services (NGS) unit, delivering exponential results at exponential speed.”

“It is both an unquestionable privilege and significant responsibility to win the Most
Influential IT Leader of 2017 award in the Chemicals and Allied Products Category. In my tenure with P&G, I have been rewarded with numerous rich experiences ranging from IT category leadership across seven different P&G business units, accountability for multimillion IT strategic programs investment. I have also enjoyed international experiences around the globe, starting in my native Mexico and all the way to P&G’s corporate headquarters in Ohio, where I have been leading IT strategic contributions for the past 12 years.

“Being now distinguished as Most Influential IT Leader of 2017 in the Chemicals and Allied Products Category, brings all these accomplishments in perspective. Additionally, it is a clear recognition not only for me personally, but for the impact P&G IT is having in the industry, specifically as it relates to driving breakthrough IT innovation that transforms the way business is conducted and creates sustainable value for our P&G business now and in the future.
Rosa goes on to elaborate on these thoughts, telling us what this award means for her and P&G.

“It is truly an acknowledgement of the value we bring to the broader business. P&G is a
very innovative company, and GBS IT has been at the forefront of innovation in recent years in areas such as analytics, information security, virtualisation and overall being considered one of the most progressive shared services organisations in the world. In particular, where NGS are concerned, we proactively seek out external capability to fully contribute to the identification and generation of the next S-curve of shared services, thus driving exponential growth in an open ecosystem where external partnerships are imperative for our long-term success.

P&G role in the IT field is an important one. At P&G, IT is where business, technology and innovation come together to create competitive advantage Rosa explains, a point which she goes on to explain before adding her views on the crucial role innovation plays in the firm’s work.

“We truly own end-to-end all aspects of the IT spectrum. From planning, design and implementation of enterprise technology systems and platforms, to the successful execution of IT projects in support of P&G’s business strategies, and the corresponding operational excellence of managing global operations of this magnitude, 24/7, in real time across the globe, in a secure and reliable way. We drive acquisition/divestiture systems redesign, and bring new business-building capabilities powered by technology to serve our P&G Categories and deliver relevant value, becoming a source of strategic advantage.

“Innovation is at the core of everything we do. In terms of NGS, innovation is our lifeblood. We only work on selected portfolio initiatives which represent our biggest challenges, and when solved, will deliver compelling shareholder value. We consciously operate different than the balance of P&G. We are an organisation at the edge, using an iterative and agile operating model, focused on identifying exponential technologies (such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of things (IoT) and cognitive technologies) that will drive disruption vs. current approach.

“Freedom to fail, small teams approach and using human capital on demand via our open partner ecosystem are some of the strategies we use to boost innovation and maximise end results. It is definitively an exciting place to contribute, collaborating with brilliant minds both inside and outside our P&G organisation where we truly encouraged every single member to develop and learn to their full potential.”

Rosa proceeds to explain three specific case studies, showcasing the contributions P&G are driving in Next Generation Services (NGS).

“This first case study has delivered significant value in the way we managed our Financial Services and Solutions. The accounts receivable organisation is embracing technology to drive shareholder value creation. Incorporating smart automation solutions such as Robotics Process Automation (RPA) has opened the door to deliver step-change productivity gains. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning is demonstrating the potential to not only drive productivity but also significantly improve overall cash flow.

“The next one is about exploring new talent management strategies. Shifting demographics are changing the way work gets done. It is predicted that within the next five years as much as 50% of the U.S. workforce will consider themselves freelancers. NGS spent the last year testing what it takes to maximise value of on demand talent. Through this test we realised that while implementing this next generation work system takes a very intentional approach to properly educate, govern and operate, the value unlocked is breakthrough; delivering work with higher quality, faster execution and a fraction of the cost vs. traditional means.

Finally, my third example is around the way we engage with our P&G Consumers and finding innovative approaches powered by technology to serve them better. We are actively exploring the power of cognitive (AI) and deep machine learning to reduce the time to serve while eliminating low value activities in our traditional systems, increase our advisors’ conversational focus and deliver an even better, consumer experience anytime, anywhere and via any channel our consumers want to engage with us.”

Staying on these upbeat notes, Rosa shares the firm’s hopes and plans for 2017 and beyond and underlines P&G’s strong commitment to diversity.

“As part of our digitisation strategy, accelerating the business application of IT capability via technology innovation will continue to be one of the top focus areas, together with strengthening the IT skills and technical mastery of our organisation in a world where the rate of change is unprecedented.

“Finally, I would like to emphasise P&G’s strong commitment to diversity, which enables leaders like myself thrive in a global environment. P&G has been consistently recognised within the Top 10 Companies for global diversity by Diversity Inc, and amongst the Best Companies for Multicultural Women.

“For instance, in IT, our people are all diverse business leaders who apply their IT mastery to deliver game changing, technology-driven business models and capabilities. I believe it is an optimal time to join P&G, IT and NGS as the opportunities for challenging yet rewarding work experiences are abundant, while helping P&G win with consumers and shoppers all around the world.”

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