Successful businesses will take advantage of new set of technologies but prioritize trust, responsibility, privacy and security
BENGALURU; Feb. 7, 2019 – The enterprise is entering a new
“post-digital” era, where success will be based on an organization’s ability to
master a set of new technologies that can deliver personalized realities and
experiences for customers, employees and business partners, according
to Accenture Technology Vision 2019, the
annual report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) that predicts key technology trends
that will redefine businesses over the next three years.
According to this year’s report, “The Post-Digital Era is Upon Us – Are You Ready for What’s Next?,” the enterprise is at a turning point. Digital technologies enable companies to understand their customers with a new depth of granularity; give them more channels with which to reach those consumers; and enable them to expand ecosystems with new potential partners. But digital is no longer a differentiating advantage ― it’s now the price of admission.
In fact, nearly four in five (79 percent) of the more
than 6,600 business and IT executives worldwide that
Accenture surveyed for the report believe that digital technologies ―
specifically social, mobile, analytics and cloud ― have moved beyond adoption
silos to become part of the core technology foundation for their organization.
“A post-digital world doesn’t mean that digital is
over,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation
officer. “On the contrary ― we’re posing a new question: As all
organizations develop their digital competency, what will set YOU apart?
In this era, simply doing digital isn’t enough. Our Technology Vision highlights
the ways in which organizations must use powerful new technologies to innovate
in their business models and personalize experiences for their
customers. At the same time, leaders must recognize that human values,
such as trust and responsibility, are not just buzzwords but critical enablers
of their success.”
Vision identifies five emerging technology
trends that companies must address if
they are to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving landscape:
- DARQ Power:
Understanding the DNA of DARQ. The
technologies ofdistributed ledgers, artificial intelligence, extended reality
and quantum computing (DARQ) are catalysts for change, offering extraordinary new capabilities and enabling businesses to reimagine
entire industries. When asked to rank which of these will have the greatest
impact on their organization over the next three years, 41 percent of
executives ranked AI number one — more than twice the number of any
other DARQ technology.
- Get to Know Me: Unlock
unique consumers and unique opportunities. Technology-driven
interactions are creating an expanding technology identity for every consumer.
This living foundation of knowledge will be key to understanding the next
generation of consumers and for delivering rich, individualized,
experience-based relationships. More than four in five executives
(83 percent) said that digital demographics give their organizations a new
way to identify market opportunities for unmet customer needs.
- Human+ Worker: Change
your workplace or hinder your workforce.
As workforces become “human+” — with each individual worker empowered by their
skillsets and knowledge plus a new, growing set of capabilities made possible
through technology — companies must support a new way of working in the
post-digital age. More than two-thirds (71 percent) of executives believe
that their employees are more digitally mature than their organization,
resulting in a workforce “waiting” for the organization to catch up.
- Secure Us
to Secure Me: Enterprises are not victims, they’re vectors. While ecosystem-driven business depends on interconnectedness, those
connections increase companies’ exposures to risks. Leading businesses
recognize that security must play a key role in their efforts as they
collaborate with entire ecosystems to deliver best-in-class products, services
and experiences. Only 29 percent of executives said they know their ecosystem
partners are working diligently to be compliant and resilient with regard to
Meet consumers at the speed of now. Technology
is creating a world of intensely customized and on-demand experiences, and
companies must reinvent their organizations to find and capture those
opportunities. That means viewing each opportunity as if it’s an individual
market—a momentary market. Six in seven executives (85 percent) said that
the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of
According to the report, innovation
for organizations in the post-digital era involves
figuring out how to shape the world around people and pick the right time to
offer their products and services. They’re taking their first steps in a world
that tailors itself to fit every moment — where products, services and even
people’s surroundings are customized and where businesses cater to the individual
in every aspect of their lives and jobs, shaping their realities.
One company taking individualization and
customization to a new level is Zozotown, Japan’s biggest e-commerce company.
Its skintight spandex Zozosuits pair with the Zozotown app to take customers’
exact measurements; custom-tailored pieces from the company’s in-house clothing
line arrive in as few as 10 days. And it’s not just in the fashion industry
where technology is enabling customization previously not
possible. U.S. retailer Sam’s Club developed an app that uses machine learning
and data about customers’ past purchases to auto-fill their shopping lists; the
company plans to add a navigation feature to show optimized routes through the
store to each item on that list.
The report notes
that companies still completing their digital transformations are looking for a
specific edge, whether it’s innovative service, higher efficiency or more
personalization. But post-digital companies are out to surpass the competition
by combining these forces to change the way the market itself works — from one
market to many custom markets — on-demand and in the moment, just as Chinese
e-retail platform JD.com is doing with its “Toplife” platform. The service
helps third parties sell through JD by setting up customized stores, providing
access to its supply chain with cutting-edge robotics and drone delivery. In
partnership with Walmart, a physical store in Shenzhen will offer more than
8,000 products available in person or delivered from the store in under 30
minutes. By offering unprecedented customization and speed, JD is empowering
other companies while creating a new market for itself.
For almost two decades, Accenture has
taken a systematic look across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging technology
trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and
industries. For more information on this year’s report, visit www.accenture.com/technologyvision or follow the conversation on Twitter
About the Methodology
The Accenture Technology Vision is developed annually by the Accenture Labs and
Accenture Research. For the 2019 report, the research process included
gathering input from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group
comprising more than two dozen experienced individuals from the public and
private sectors, academia, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial companies.
In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted interviews with technology
luminaries and industry experts, as well as with nearly 100 Accenture business
leaders. In parallel, Accenture Research conducted a global online survey
of 6,672 business and IT executives to capture insights into the adoption
of emerging technologies. The survey helped identify the key issues and priorities
for technology adoption and investment. Respondents were C-level
executives and directors at companies across 27 countries and 20 industries, with the majority having annual revenues greater than US$6 billion.
Accenture is a leading global professional services
company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy,
consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience
and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions
— underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the
intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their
performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 469,000
people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation
to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.