As part of the Technology Vision, Accenture surveyed more than 6,300 business and IT executives worldwide. More than four in five respondents (84 percent) agree that through technology, companies are weaving themselves seamlessly into the fabric of how people live today.
For example, Amazon – through not only its tremendous online presence but also its Echo device and AI assistant Alexa – has integrated itself into people’s everyday lives to such an extent that developers are building dedicated Amazon lockers into new apartment complexes and people are granting the company physical access to their homes via its smart lock system to let couriers make deliveries when no one is around.
“Technology is now firmly embedded throughout our everyday lives and is reshaping large parts of society,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer. “Just as cities developed around ports and then railroads, or people rebuilt their lives around electricity, the world today is reimagining itself around digital innovation – and, by extension, the companies that provide those services. This requires a new type of relationship, built on trust and the sharing of large amounts of personal information.”
The report notes that this latest technological transformation is unique in that for the first time the change is a two-way street; people aren’t just using companies’ products and services, but feeding information and access back to them. This level of “integrated innovation” and degree of trust requires a deeper relationship – a true partnership based not only on a company’s products, but also its goals and values. And with this two-way partnership come new responsibilities – to consumers, business partners and society at large — requiring leadership and commitment from the top.
Savvy organizations understand that these new societal expectations can be transformed into an enterprise strength. They’re using their increased interactions to build partnerships with customers, employees, government and the public. And this extends beyond the consumer or retail arena.
Tesla, for instance, is partnering with governments to accelerate the development of guidelines needed for autonomous vehicles. And Siemens, by offering its MindSphere operating system for internet of things that can be used for various types of assets such as manufacturing devices, smart grid components or power generation equipment, is creating new partnerships and embedding itself into its business partners’ architectures.
The Technology Vision identifies five emerging technology trends that companies must address if they are to build the partnerships needed to succeed in today’s digital economy:
“Through these new partnerships with customers, employees and business collaborators, companies are building greater trust and further integrating themselves into society, becoming more indispensable and fueling their own growth,” Daugherty said.
For nearly 18 years, Accenture has taken a systematic look across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging technology trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and industries. For more information on this year’s report, visit www.accenture.com/technologyvision or follow the conversation on Twitter with #TechVision2018.
About the Methodology
The Accenture Technology Vision is developed annually by the Accenture Labs and Accenture Research. For the 2018 report, the research process included gathering input from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group comprising more than two dozen experienced individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted interviews with technology luminaries and industry experts, as well as with nearly 100 Accenture business leaders. In parallel, Accenture Research conducted a global online survey of more than 6,300 business and IT executives across 25 countries and 18 industries to capture insights into the adoption of emerging technologies. The survey helped identify the key issues and priorities for technology adoption and investment. Respondents were mostly C-level executives and directors, with some functional and line-of-business leads, at companies with annual revenues of at least US$500 million, with most having annual revenues greater than US$6 billion.