According to this year’s Accenture Technology Vision 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.
Technology is now the foundation of an organization
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 and 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. They are rather critical enablers of their success.”
The Technology Vision identifies 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. They offer extraordinary new capabilities and enable 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. This is 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 and expanding technology identity for every consumer. This living foundation of knowledge will be key to understanding the next generation of consumers. It can also help to deliver 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.
- 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. Especially since 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.
Looking for a specific edge
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. Where businesses cater to the individual in every aspect of their lives and jobs, consequently shaping their realities.
The report notes that companies still completing their digital transformations are looking for a specific edge. That could be 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.