Winners in the digital economy will place people first, predicts Accenture

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 28 January 2016
Winners in the digital economy will place people first, predicts Accenture

Businesses that adopt a people-first approach when planning and implementing their digital strategies will have the most success in today’s digital economy, according to Accenture’s latest global technology trends report.

The Accenture Technology Vision 2016 found that 33% of the global economy has already been impacted by digital technology. It also showed that while 86% of respondents anticipated that the pace of technology change will increase at a rapid or unprecedented rate over the next three years, they often experience ‘digital culture shock’ at the prospect of keeping up with the competition.

However, the report highlighted that companies can adopt a people-first approach that will allow them to create new business models that drive digital disruption. It predicted that to fully capitalise on their digital technology investments and develop cutting-edge products or services, companies must equip employees, partners and consumers with new skills.

For example, GE established a new approach called FastWorks that connected employees much more closely to customers and led to the rapid development of innovative solutions that sold well because they met and exceeded customer expectations.

“In the Accenture Technology Vision 2016, we’ve identified five technology trends that are critical to digital success,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology officer. “Digital means people too and a cornerstone of this year’s vision is people first. Companies that embrace digital can empower their workforce to continuously learn new skills to do more with technology and generate bigger and better business results.”

Accenture’s report also identified five technology trends fuelled by the ‘people-first principal’ that are essential to business success in the digital economy. The trends include:

Intelligent automation: leaders are using automation technologies – such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and augmented reality – to fundamentally change the way their business operates and drive a new, more productive relationship between people and machines. Already, 70% of the survey respondents have increased AI-related technology investments compared to two years ago, and 55% plan to use machine learning and embedded AI solutions extensively.

Liquid workforce: by exploiting technology to enable workforce transformation, leading companies will create highly adaptable and change-ready environments that are able to meet today’s dynamic digital demands.

Platform economy: almost 81% of survey respondents expect platform-based business models to become part of their organisation’s core growth strategy within three years, enabling them to capture new growth opportunities and drive change in the global macroeconomic environment.

Predictable disruption: fast-emerging digital ecosystems are creating the foundation for the next wave of disruption by straddling markets and blurring industry boundaries, so companies must proactively predict these ecosystem trajectories to gain a competitive advantage.

Digital Trust: businesses must focus on digital ethics as a core strategy to gain the trust of individuals, ecosystems and regulators in the new digital landscape.

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