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January 27, 2014

Accenture Shows Large Enterprises Are Creating a Digital Power Shift in Technology Trends

A digital power shift is underway in which large enterprises are taking stock of their scale and skills and using that power to change the direction of the technology market. A new report from Accenture (News - Alert) singles out six technology trends that are putting large companies in league with the tech start-ups of yesterday as they take advantage of mobility, analytics and the cloud to shape and transform business processes.

The Accenture Technology Vision 2014 report examines just how much technology drivers have changed, and how large businesses are embracing new ways of operating and managing their workforces to gain a competitive edge. The first trend is extending business intelligence to the edge, which is accomplished through wearable devices, smart objects and machines that blur the digital-physical line. By providing businesses with real-time intelligence, this new layer of information helps automate processes and augment workforce capabilities.

And it also offers consumers new levels of empowerment while providing vital information to workers. A pilot Google (News - Alert) application, for instance, enables physicians to wear a display that simultaneously monitors patients’ vital signs and reactions to surgical procedures without the physician needing to turn away from the patient or procedure.

The “borderless enterprise” is another disruptive trend that is enabling enterprises to tap into global resources well beyond their workforce. Kaggle, Inc., for example, is comprised of a global network of scientists and mathematicians who compete to solve a variety of problems. The data supply chain is also changing as data technologies evolve, creating massive opportunities to integrate data across the enterprise. To truly utilize the huge amounts of data being generated, organizations need to treat it as a supply chain and find a way to enable easy and useful flow throughout the entire organization.

Hyperscale is another interesting phenomenon, as major advances in hardware like power consumption, processors and infrastructure architecture let enterprises scale affordably at a massive level. As large enterprises become increasingly digital, hardware plays an important role in how business is done. Software is also important, and Accenture finds that 54 percent of the highest-performing IT teams studied have developed their own enterprise app stores. By creating easy access to simple and modular apps for their employees, businesses can completely transform their operations and strive for growth and costs savings.

Finally, the trend of architecting resilience becomes a major disruptor as large companies are expected to keep up with non-stop demands on their processes, services and systems. The “always on” infrastructure cries out for automated testing tools that continuously attack systems to test their resiliency. Advanced testing processes will ultimately ensure businesses can stay competitive and maintain systems that are designed and built to handle failure and disaster.

"These key trends build on those we have seen over the past couple of years," said Paul Daugherty, CTO of Accenture. "Last year, we declared that every business is a digital business, whether its leaders acknowledged that or not. Now, we see that digital technologies run through every facet of the highest-performing businesses. Looking at the shifts in technology and the impact they're having on the strategies and operational priorities of organizations around the world, we believe there are tremendous opportunities for every C-suite executive to be a digital disruptor - to reinvent and redefine their business to create lasting competitive advantage."

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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