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Accenture: Leading enterprises are compressing a decade of digital transformation in 1-2 years

"The world is hungry for a new kind of leadership," according to the Accenture Technology Vision 2021 report. The report, "Leaders Wanted: Masters of Change at a Moment of Truth," outlines how leading enterprises are compressing a decade of digital transformation into one or two years.

Accenture surveyed more than 6,200 business and technology leaders for the Technology Vision report, and 92% report that their organization is innovating with an urgency and call to action this year. And 91% of executives agree capturing tomorrow's market will require their organization to define it.

Relying on a strong digital core to adapt and innovate at lighting speed, leaders are growing revenues 5x faster than laggards today, versus only 2x faster between 2015 to 2018, according to Accenture research. The result is a wave of companies racing to reinvent themselves and use technology innovations to shape the new realities they face.

The Accenture Technology Vision 2021 report identifies five key trends that companies will need to address over next three years to accelerate and master change in all parts of the business:

  1. Stack Strategically: Architecting a Better Future -- A new era of industry competition is dawning, one where companies compete on their IT systems architecture. But building and wielding the most competitive technology stack means thinking about technology differently, making business and technology strategies indistinguishable. Eighty-nine percent of executives believe that their organization's ability to generate business value will increasingly be based on the limitations and opportunities of their technology architecture.

  2. Mirrored World: The Power of Massive, Intelligent, Digital Twins -- Leaders are building intelligent digital twins to create living models of factories, supply chains, product lifecycles, and more. Bringing together data and intelligence to represent the physical world in a digital space will unlock new opportunities to operate, collaborate, and innovate. Sixty-five percent of executives surveyed expect their organization's investment in intelligent digital twins to increase over the next three years.

  3. I, Technologist: The Democratization of Technology -- Powerful capabilities are now available to people across business functions, adding a grassroots layer to enterprises' innovation strategies. Now, every employee can be an innovator, optimizing their work, fixing pain points, and keeping the business in lockstep with new and changing needs. Eighty-eight percent of executives believe technology democratization is becoming critical in their ability to ignite innovation across their organization.

  4. Anywhere, Everywhere: Bring Your Own Environment -- The single biggest workforce shift in living memory has positioned businesses to expand the boundaries of the enterprise. When people can "bring your own environment" they have the freedom to seamlessly work from anywhere -- whether that's at home, the office, the airport, partners' offices, or somewhere else. In this model, leaders can rethink the purpose of working at each location and lean into the opportunity to reimagine their business in this new world. Eighty-one percent of executives agree that leading organizations in their industry will start shifting from a 'Bring Your Own Device' to 'Bring Your Own Environment' workforce approach.

  5. From Me to We: A Multiparty System's Path Through Chaos -- The demand for contact tracing, frictionless payments, and new ways of building trust brought into sharp focus what had been left undone with enterprises' existing ecosystems. Multiparty systems can help businesses gain greater resilience and adaptability; unlock new ways to approach the market; and set new, ecosystem-forward standards for their industries. Ninety percent of executives surveyed state that multiparty systems will enable their ecosystems to forge a more resilient, adaptable foundation and create new value with their organization's partners.


According to Daugherty, the pandemic brought momentum of truth and a new mindset, along with four new realities that all business leaders must embrace as companies shift from reacting to the new normal to creating the new normal.

  1. The human experience -- 8 billion people around the world instantaneously changed behavior for the first time in history. Daugherty referenced online work, online grocery shopping, telemedicine and other massive changes.

  2. Every business is now a technology business.

  3. Future of work: work is now designed to be independent of location and time, data and meta-data driven, hyper-automated and focused on human-centric experience

  4. Sustainability is the new 'digital': Sustainability together with technology will drive the success and leadership for companies in the future


Daugherty talked to us about leadership lessons learned since the pandemic. Before COVID there was a digital achievement gap. This gap has widened since the pandemic. A recent study before the pandemic revealed that digital leaders (the top 10% of companies leading technology innovation) achieve 2-3x revenue growth as compared to their competitors -- a widening divide that Accenture calls the "Digital Achievement Gap." Since the pandemic, the digital achievement gap is now 5x.

Shaping the future will require companies to become masters of change by adhering to three key imperatives, this according to Daugherty:

1. Leadership demands technology leadership. The era of the fast follower is over -- perpetual change is permanent. Tomorrow's leaders will be those that put technology at the forefront of their business strategy. Every leader must now be a technology leader according to Daugherty. 2. Leaders will not wait for the new normal, they will create it. Leaders won't wait for a new normal, they'll reinvent, building new realities using radically different mindsets and models. 3. Sustainability is the new 'digital'. Leaders will embrace a broader responsibility as global citizens, deliberately designing and applying technology to create positive impacts far beyond the enterprise to create a more sustainable and inclusive world. Humanity must be at the core. Your solutions must provide benefits for all stakeholders -- employees, customers, partners and communities.

Daugherty reminds us that large technology companies have an obligation to ensure business is the greatest platform for change. There is an extra level of obligation for technology companies to lead the way in terms of reducing the digital divide and issues related to humanities. The technology must be used in the right way to ensure stakeholder benefit. Daugherty talked about the 360-degree value framework that is used by Accenture to ensure everyone benefits from digital transformation. Accenture is a fantastic example of how values can create value.

Daugherty shared specific use cases and benefits for some of the technology trends. I encourage you to watch our video conversation to learn more how Accenture clients are using these five trends to grow their businesses while delighting their customers. We talked about blockchain, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other emerging technologies but in the context of business outcomes. What I appreciate about the Technology Vision 2021 research is its focus on business outcomes and market trends versus a list of the technologies that will have high impact on our future.

We discussed the 'Stack Strategically: Architecting a Better Future' trend extensively -- in my opinion, this is the most important trend for business leaders to understand. Daugherty reminded us that all the trends are very important, but how you do tech matters a lot. He gave us a brilliant example of how companies use their modern technology stack providing key differentiation. Getting to the cloud, leveraging the edge, using AI, building secure and scalable capabilities, and finally designing a human-centric experience model that is flexible, adaptable and intuitive, are important elements of architecting a better future.

Article has been taken from ZD Net, please see the original article below:


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