Riding on technology prudently and sustainably will prepare organizations for four realities that will be annealing in the next three years.

As companies shift from reacting to the crisis to reinventing what comes next, digital transformation is turning many into not just digital organizations, but technology businesses.

According to Senior Managing Director, Accenture Technology Lead for Japan, China, Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East and Executive Vice President, Accenture Japan Ltd Ryoji Sekido, technology has been a lifeline that has “sustained us through the pandemic, and it is redefining our reality. It has also pushed a giant fast-forward button to the future.”

In reflecting on the upended notions of office-based work and traditional commerce, Sekido highlighted how companies have begun to double down on their technology investments, thus beginning their journey towards becoming a technology business. “In May 2020, 50% of companies surveyed said they were going to significantly increase investment in digital transformation. By July it was 80%.”

The consultancy firm noted that, with so many transformations happening, businesses are facing four new realities that include: a change in human experience, where every business is now a technology business; a transformation in the way people work and collaborate; and the new reality that places sustainability as the new digital.

Three-year tech watch

In its recent media briefing, Accenture noted how a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company is fast-tracking its digital transformation to reduce data power consumption by up to 80% and its carbon emissions from physical data centers by up to 85%.”  

From this and other analyses, the firm believes that in the next three years the following tech trends will be gaining momentum — something that organizations need to watch for and jump on for a boost in first-mover advantage:

  • Competing on technology architecture 
    Companies need to rethink how applications are developed and deployed, and compete upon technology architecture to be more agile and flexible, according to Marc Carrel-Billiard, Senior Managing Director and Lead for Technology Innovation and Accenture Labs. He added: “89% of executives polled believed that their organization’s ability to generate business value will increasingly be based on the limitations and opportunities of their technology architecture.”
  • Reorganizing tech architecture and unlocking the potential of digital twins using AI
    With the layering of AI, today’s tech allows digital twins to be rapidly deployed across many enterprises and industries. With 35% of APAC respondents reporting that their organization was using digital twins for innovation, Carrel-Billiard expects digital twins to unlock new opportunities to operate, collaborate, and innovate sustainably. He shared the example of Virtual Singapore, created by Singapore’s National Research Foundation, a digital twin of the city-state using 3D semantic modeling to combine map and land data with real-time data on climate, traffic, and more.
  • Democratizing job roles and collaborations
    Technology development will continue to transform work. Every employee can now access powerful capabilities when natural language processing, low-code platforms, robotic process automation increase democratization of job roles.

    With distributed workforces as the norm, the boundaries of enterprise will be expanded. People can ‘bring their own environment’ by being given the freedom to seamlessly work from anywhere. Carrel-Billiard brought up the example of Fujitsu’s new ‘Work Life Shift program’ that seeks to maximize creativity and efficiency by letting the company’s 80,000 workers determine the best work situation for themselves. “All employees will be able to work from home permanently and to work flexible hours, and this new model will let employees choose where they want to work.”
  • Opening up to digitally-led partnerships
    Organizations need to be aware of technologies that will open their businesses up to digitally-led partnerships with the use of multi-party systems. According to the firm’s data, 53% of APAC executives surveyed reported that the number one element driving an increase in technology-enabled ecosystems is that technologies available to support ecosystems have improved. Such arrangement helps businesses gain greater resilience and adaptability to approach the market to set new, ecosystem-forward standards for their industries.

    For example, Accenture has teamed with several corporate partners to develop the Circular Supply Chain. This multiparty solution allows customers to seamlessly send gratuities directly to the producers; biometric capabilities to help certify identities and ensure payments reach the right individuals, and allow manufacturers and distributers to monitor and prepare for unexpected upstream and downstream shifts of their goods.

Now that the fast-forward button has been permanently pushed, Sekido concluded companies now have to reinvent themselves in record time, egged on by customers expecting clients to deliver something reliable, sustainable and responsible in order to remain relevant and alive in the post-COVID global digital economy.

See also:

Infographics: Technology Vision 2021