The new study “Fast Track to Future-Ready Performance,” by business and consulting firm Accenture finds that digital adoption during the pandemic not only enabled companies to become agile they could also generate $5.4 trillion in profitable growth “if applied broadly.”
The global survey is participated in by 1,100 senior-level executives aims to evaluate business readiness and maturity. Accenture pegged the highest level of maturity to “future-ready,” wherein the levels also determine the degree of digital capabilities.
By leveraging available business and technology solutions, mature companies have better chances of progressing while preparing the organization for future challenges. These may enable them to drive growth being equipped the company with cutting-edge technology and competent workforce.
“Uncertainty has also put a premium on new, agile ways of doing things, reinforcing the idea that operations can be a catalyst for competitive advantage, transformational value, and growth,” said Manish Sharma, group chief executive of Accenture Operations. “But this only works if companies think big — transforming how the work actually gets done across technology, processes and people.”
The study discovered that 7% of companies thrived during the pandemic achieving “nearly twice the efficiency and three times the profitability of peers.” These companies are also the ones who understood that digital tools are not band-aid solutions during a crisis but are long-term investments that could drive business growth eventually.
According to Accenture, future-ready enterprises transform how work gets done by using rich data for decision-making, augmenting people with artificial intelligence (AI) and employing agile workforce models — with striking differences in digital adoption and operational maturity.
The study finds that 9 in 10 future-ready organizations have been utilizing the cloud to scale while 78% are also exploring new areas to scale and maximize value.
Organizations that view machine intelligence more as an add-on rather than a threat to human resources have “fully” adopted artificial intelligence (71%). Three years ago, the figures were just at 4%, the current statistics illustrate that AI can no longer be categorized as an emerging but a mainstream technology.
By leaving repetitive and manual tasks to automation two-thirds (67%) of future-ready organizations have adopted end-to-end digital processes and 58% continue to scale leading practices, compared with 32% and 6%, respectively, of other organizations. Four-fifths (82%) are expected to scale leading practices by 2023.
As data is the new currency, future-ready organizations are more than 10 times as likely as other organizations (52% vs. 5%) to use analytics at scale — paired with better, more diverse data sets (45% vs. 6%) — to generate actionable insights and inform decision-making. Three-fourths (75%) are expected to use analytics with diverse data by 2023.
Upskilling or retraining the existing workforce or employing new talents also make companies future-ready. One-third (34%) of future-ready organizations have adopted an agile workforce strategy at scale, compared with just 4% of other organizations, enabling them to tap into an expanded talent pool among ecosystem partners to mobilize special talent as needed.
Accenture said it estimates 71% will adopt an agile workforce strategy by 2023.
“Future-ready organizations know that it’s about maximizing talent in an era when people are critical to success,” Sharma said. “They’re harnessing change by retooling operating models in ways that capitalize on human ingenuity and machine intelligence to transform the way people work and the business performs.”
The report, “Fast-Track to Future-Ready Performance,” is the first in a research series that looks at the drivers and trends shaping how enterprises and business functions operate globally.