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Businesses still figuring out digital transformation have already lost

Accenture is calling it a post-digital era, one where businesses are already looking beyond digitisation to capitalise on new tech-driven opportunities

Accenture’s Technology Vision 2019 study has reported that the enterprise is at a digital transformation turning point. The study warned that being digital is no longer a differentiating advantage. Instead, Accenture said technology is now the price of admission.

Digital-era technology, which began as a differentiating advantage years ago, is now expected from every business. But its impact is still changing the relationship between businesses and society, and the expectations of individual people, according to Accenture.

Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer, Paul Daugherty, said: “As all organisations develop their digital competency, simply doing digital isn’t enough.”

The study found that post-digital companies were looking to bypass the competition by changing the way the market itself works, such as moving from one market to many custom markets or becoming demand-driven.

Of the 6,672 business and IT executives surveyed, 42% strongly agreed that understanding consumers’ behaviours around technology would be critical for increasing customer loyalty.

Businesses appear to be taking this on board, with 45% of the executives surveyed reporting that the pace of innovation in their organisations had significantly accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies.

Accenture predicted that technologies such as distributed ledgers, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing would be catalysts for change, offering new capabilities and enabling businesses to re-imagine entire industries.

“As all organisations develop their digital competency, simply doing digital isn’t enough”
Paul Daugherty, Accenture

As businesses look to deliver rich, technology-driven individualised experiences, the report recommended that executives take into account the complexities around the technology consumers have access to. For instance, the direct availability of specific technologies, such as ubiquitous connectivity, cannot be taken for granted.

The report stated: “Businesses need to understand consumers’ full technology context if they want to deliver rich, seamless experiences in the post-digital age – including the issues of access that affect consumer choice. This might mean making sure products work in multiple areas, all with different levels of technology access. Or it might mean serving more people in the same area by supporting many different digital ecosystems.”

Accenture warned that the expanding choices of technology ecosystems and services would affect product strategy. For instance, the report highlighted how Domino’s Pizza supports multiple customer channels – web, mobile phone and various smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

The report stated: “As companies settle on their new goals and the pathways they will take to reach them, they must also determine which ecosystem partners they need and where their own place in the ecosystem should be.”

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