Accenture is unveiling what it says are six technology trends driving big shifts in large enterprises. The $28 billion business consulting giant says that large enterprises can jump on these trends and be as nimble as tech startups who are trying to disrupt the status quo.
The core message of the Accenture Technology Vision 2014 report is that mastering digital technologies is becoming core to companies that want to stay competitive. It is advising enterprises to pursue digital strategies that leverage mobility, analytics, and the cloud to improve business processes, take advantage of real-time intelligence, expand the boundaries of traditional workforces, and transform the way data is managed and used.
“We’re seeing large enterprises – armed with the resources, scale, and drive to reinvent themselves through digital transformation – reasserting leadership in their markets,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer at Accenture, in a statement. “Leading companies are adopting digital to drive their processes more effectively and transform how they go to market, collaborate with partners, engage with customers, and manage transactions. Digital is rapidly becoming part of the fabric of their operating DNA, and they are poised to become the digital power brokers of tomorrow.”
The six big tech trends are:
1. The digital-physical blur. Accenture says the real world is coming online as wearable devices, smart objects, and machines provide us with real-time intelligence, changing how we live and how businesses operate. This new layer of connected intelligence augments workforce capabilities, automates processes, and incorporates machines into our lives. For consumers, this provides new levels of empowerment; and for organizations, getting real-time, relevant data means both machines and employees can act and react faster and more intelligently in virtually any situation. One example: Koninklijke Philips has a Google Glass pilot for doctors that lets them view a patient’s vital signs during surgery.
2. From workforce to crowdsource. Technology will make enterprises borderless, allowing companies to tap resources around the world. They can, for instance, tap Kaggle, a network of scientists and mathematicians who compete to solve problems like airline flight scheduling.
3. Data supply chain. Only one in five companies integrate their data across the enterprise. To truly unlock the potential of big data, companies have to treat it more like a supply chain, enabling its flow through the organization and supplier ecosystem. One way to do this, as Google has shown with Google maps data, is opening up the applications programming interface. The result: 800,000 web sites use Google Maps data.
4. Harnessing hyperscale. Hardware is a hotbed of innovation as companies optimize their power consumption, processors, solid state memory, and infrastructure architectures to increase data center efficiency, scale upward, and drive down costs.
5. Business of applications. Enterprises are following consumers by rapidly adopting apps to create better operational agility. Accenture says that 54 percent of the highest-performing IT teams have already deployed enterprise app stores. That makes life simpler for employees and accelerates business growth.
6. Architecting resilience. Businesses have to operate 24/7 now, so companies have to create their operations so they can run non-stop. That’s why companies such as Netflix use automated testing tools to attack their systems to make sure they are resilient.