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If you’re in the business of selling products to consumers, it makes sense to talk to those consumers, and in Canada, CIOs aren’t just limiting themselves to in-store focus groups or online surveys but making use of social media for research and development.

In its recent 2014 Global Agenda for Retail CIOs report, Tata Consultancy Services TCS said 67 percent of firms here have used services like Twitter or Facebook in their R&D process, which the company believes could offer them a leadership position over other regions globally. On a worldwide basis, cost reduction was a huge issue in this sector, trumping innovation by an over of magnitude.

“CIOs can radically reimagine the retail value chain by driving deep multichannel integration and developing a customer-centric operating model that delivers next-generation, digitally enhanced customer experience,” the report says. “To achieve this, retail CIOs are well positioned to tap the enterprise-wide perspective that empowers them to overcome operational silos and become true change-agents using disruptive digital technologies to innovate and drive business growth.”

CanadianCIO recently reworked TCS’s infographic of the research to provide our own reactions. Join the conversation in the comment area below, especially if you’re an IT leader hoping to achieve the kind of results in retail that TCS describes.

CanadianCIO Tata infographic