CONVERSATIONS on the future have seen a common theme emerge - that it is disrupted and predominantly digital. Technological advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, sharing platforms and the Internet of Things are fundamentally altering business models and industries. These changes are often not only alien to businesses; they are taking place at unprecedented speed. Many organisations, in particular the larger established ones that are encumbered by complex structures and bureaucratic processes, may find adapting to the pace of change a real struggle. Entrepreneurial businesses are often said to have a huge competitive advantage by virtue of their smaller size and simpler business model, which affords them the needed agility.
A vast new research survey on Future Systems from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) sheds important light on the enormous impact that technology investment and adoption have on a company's financial performance and most notably, the mindsets and behaviors of companies that are industry leaders. The new research, titled: "Full Value. How to scale innovation and achieve full value with Future Systems," provides insights on how to scale innovation and achieve full value of technology investments, builds on Accenture's initial Future Systems report launched last year, and is based on a survey of more than 8,300 organizations across 20 industries and 22 countries. It is designed to help companies understand and close the innovation achievement gap – defined as the difference between potential and realized value from technology investments. The Future Systems research is Accenture's largest enterprise IT survey ever conducted and includes measures of both mature and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and extended reality.
As technology becomes the catalyst for business strategy and transformation, the lines between business and technology functions are blurring and the expectations of IT are shifting, leading many organizations to reimagine the role of technology and rethink traditional operating models and organizational structures. This CIO Insider presents a new way for unifying business and technology objectives to help enable business and technology functions to more effectively collaborate, innovate, and cocreate new sources of value. As the pace, scale, and impact of technological innovation and disruption have exponentially escalated, technology has become a primary influence on business strategy, strategic choices, and value-creation models. Harnessing and managing these five forces--one of today's most pressing business issues--can be incompatible with IT's traditional role of ensuring operational excellence and executing technology-enabled business objectives. Historically, business and technology functions were separate, which often reduced cross-functional collaboration and led to siloed execution, delayed projects, and inflexible processes. Businesses often defined strategic objectives and developed separate supporting technology strategies.
It's a lesson that has to keep get driven home again and again: buying and installing all the latest technologies, and thinking it will all magically transform an organization with moribund processes into an overnight dynamo, is misguided -- and expensive -- thinking. That's the problem with "digital transformation" -- it's one of those feel-good terms that suggests enterprise leaders are recognizing that their futures lie in leveraging technology to create and deliver spectacular customer experiences, along with new types of goods and services. Digital transformation comes from within. Before laying on the technology, organizations need to be forward-looking and open to innovation and disruption. There is some evidence emerging that moving in the right direction -- with digital technologies supporting such efforts -- is starting to pay off.
Over the past year, companies unable to properly embrace digital technologies lost 15% in foregone annual revenue, a study from Accenture finds. Looking forward, lagging-technology companies stand to potentially miss out on 46% in revenue gains over the next three to four years. This is one of the takeaways from a study based on data from 8,300 organizations, published by Accenture, which sought to document the financial impact of technology adoption. The study finds that leaders grow revenue at more than twice the rate of laggards – tech-savvy organizations grew at a rate of none percent over the past three years, compared to 4% for laggards. The survey's authors--Bhaskar Ghosh, Adam Burden and James Wilson, all with Accenture--add that it's not just about installing the latest systems and gadgets, but also about mindsets and behaviors.