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.
The findings give a broader details how leadership will evolve.
First, 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. Second, leaders won’t wait for a new normal, they’ll reinvent, building new realities using radically different mindsets and models. Finally, 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.
The Technology Vision identifies five key trends that companies will need to address over the next three years to accelerate and master change in all parts of their business:
- 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. 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.
- 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. 65% of executives surveyed expect their organization’s investment in intelligent digital twins to increase over the next three years.
- 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. 88% of executives believe technology democratization is becoming critical in their ability to ignite innovation across their organization.
- 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. 81% 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.
- 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. 90% of executives surveyed state that multiparty systems will enable their ecosystems to forge a more resilient and adaptable foundation to create new value with their organization’s partners.
Prioritizing technology innovation in response to a rapidly changing world has never been more important. Consider the restaurant industry: 60% of restaurants listed as ‘temporarily closed’ on Yelp in July were permanently out of business by September. Through the chaos, Starbucks emerged as a leader, using technology to expand customer and retail channels. By August, three million new users downloaded its app, and mobile ordering and drive-thru pick up accounted for 90% of sales. As demand surged, it deployed an integrated ticket management system to combine orders from its app, Uber Eats and drive-thru customers into a single workflow for baristas. Starbucks also introduced a new espresso machine with sensors to track how much coffee was being poured and predict necessary maintenance. This is a powerful illustration of technology as the core enabler of a company’s agile, resilient and successful response to change.
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