February 8, 2019
The enterprise is entering a new “post-digital” era, where success will be based on an organisation’s ability to master a set of new technologies that can deliver personalised realities and experiences for customers, employees and business partners, according to the Accenture Technology Vision 2019 annual report that sets out to predict the 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 organisation.
Digital isn’t over
“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 organisations 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 organisations must use powerful new technologies to innovate in their business models and personalise experiences for their customers. At the same time, leaders must recognise that human values, such as trust and responsibility, are not just buzzwords but critical enablers of their success.”
The Technology Vision claims to identify 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 of distributed 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 organisation 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, individualised, experience-based relationships. More than four in five executives (83 percent) said that digital demographics give their organisations 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 organisation, resulting in a workforce “waiting” for the organisation to catch up.
- Secure Us to Secure Me: Enterprises are not victims, they’re vectors. While ecosystem-driven business depends on inter-connectedness, those connections increase companies’ exposures to risks. Leading businesses recognise 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 security.
- MyMarkets: Meet consumers at the speed of now. Technology is creating a world of intensely customised and on-demand experiences, and companies must reinvent their organisations 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 customisation and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.
According to the report, innovation for organisations 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 customised and where businesses cater to the individual in every aspect of their lives and jobs, shaping their realities.
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 personalisation.