Technology has undoubtedly kept the world going during the pandemic with businesses accelerating their digital transformation at record speed. The latest Accenture Technology Vision 2021 not only affirms this but also advises organizations to make technology a fundamental foundation in operations to create greater business value than before.
The report “Leaders Wanted: Masters of Change at a Moment of Truth” also by Accenture highlights how visionary leaders thrived during one of the most challenging times in the global economy. In ordinary times or pre-pandemic, business leaders grew their revenues twice as much as what many call laggards or those who are investing in but not scaling and realizing the full value of innovation.
At the height of the pandemic, the Accenture study found leaders are growing their revenues five times faster than the laggards.
It’s not too late, though.
“(But) you need to do it now,” said JP Palpallatoc, Accenture’s Data, AI, and Next 5 Technologies Lead in the Philippines. “You have to figure out what technologies do I need to implement in order to at least catch-up. Because business technology and business strategy are not intertwined. You have to assess how technology will help you to be agile, to be flexible, to be productive as you chart the future?”
In fact, Accenture Technology Vision 2021 sees how technology will be truly embedded across all aspects of business operations. The trends speak of how business leaders can increase their business value by understanding — and embracing — innovation like its part of an organization’s neural system.
“Responding to the changes brought about by the pandemic centers on both technology and the ability to deploy that technology in the most efficient, possibly most creative ways will not only determine business survival but also progress to the future,” Palpallatoc said.
Accenture surveyed more than 6,200 business and technology leaders for the Technology Vision report, and 92% report that their organization is innovating with urgency and call to action this year. And 91% of executives agree capturing tomorrow’s market will require their organization to define it.
Cloud adoption has been the main driver of digital transformation during the still ongoing pandemic. But the whole architecture of an organization’s IT systems will help define the outcome of these investments. Business leaders need to have a clear understanding of the contribution of a core element in the business objectives
“Eighty-nine percent (89%) 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,” the report noted.
The number of IT solutions and services that came up during the pandemic — when companies hastily adopted digital transformation — can sometimes be overwhelming. In effect, businesses need to “choose wisely” because right now, tech architecture matters more than ever. If companies adopt cloud, what other types of solutions or systems would complement this adoption?
Massive, intelligent digital twins (or the virtual representation of a physical object) will address mobility restrictions.
“Bringing together data and intelligence to represent the physical world in digital space will unlock new opportunities to operate, collaborate, and innovate,” the report said. “Sixty-five percent of executives surveyed expect their organization’s investment in intelligent digital twins to increase over the next three years.”
The idea of digital twins brings new meaning to collaboration. Infusing artificial intelligence also increased its potential and businesses are looking at connecting massive networks of intelligent twins that have the ability to create living models of whole factories.
“The businesses that start building intelligent twins of their assets and piecing together their first mirrored environments today will be the ones that push industries, and the world, toward a more agile and intelligent future,” the report said.
The report also found “86% of executives agree their organization must train its people to think like technologists — to use and customize technology solutions at the individual level, but without highly technical skills.”
Some companies are now offering low-code to no-code solutions that will enable non-IT personnel to develop apps or solutions that could prove essential to the growth of a company. What was once emerging technologies, AI, natural language processing, robotic process automation are making other technologies accessible.
Democratized technology lets people optimize their work or fix pain points on their own,” the report said. “Without having to request major IT projects, people can create a custom dashboard for a group’s finances, build an app to approve and automatically fulfill purchase orders, and much more.”
Bring your own environment
When Twitter announced that it would be up for its employees to go back to the office or not, it somehow cemented that the idea of work from anywhere is here to say. The report finds 87% of executives believe the remote workforce opens up the market for difficult-to-find talent and expands the competition for talent among organizations.”
A part of the workforce may be largely output-based as a result of not being able to work in the office. Some of the most progressive-thinking companies have eliminated time-in and time-out and depended solely on their employees’ output. And this is confirmed by 81% of executives who agree that leading organizations in their industry will start shifting from a “Bring Your Own Device” to a “Bring Your Own Environment” workforce approach.
During the lockdowns, corporate data were inaccessible to some companies and data is the fuel for business operations. The Accenture study found how leaders are looking at the benefits of multiparty systems (MPS) so they can share data with individuals and other organizations in a way that drives efficiency and builds new business and revenue models. They include blockchain, distributed ledger, distributed database, tokenization and a variety of other technologies and capabilities.
The report finds companies have increased significantly their investments in MPS realizing that with an unseen enemy still out there, it is impossible to go back to what was once normal before. This is the new reality the world is facing and organizations are tapping every appropriate technology they can invest in not only as a response to the disruption but also as preparation of what was to come.