Are we operating in the ‘post-digital’ age?

It's no longer enough to have technology in your business, it needs to be used strategically to remain competitive.
8 February 2019

How is your company standing out with tech? Source: Shutterstock

The enterprise is entering into the “post-digital” era, according to a new report by Accenture, with ‘new’ technologies now at the core of businesses.

Surveying more than 6,500 business and IT executives, the management consultancy firm found that four in five (79 percent) believe technologies— specifically social, mobile, analytics and cloud— have moved beyond limited and “siloed adoption”, to become established components of business.

A key takeaway from the report is that technology is no longer a differentiator for businesses; instead, it’s how organizations master its use that now counts against the competition. That includes prioritizing trust, privacy, and security.

“A post-digital world doesn’t mean that digital is over,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer. “On the contrary ― we’re posing a new question: As all organizations develop their digital competency, what will set you apart?”

According to Accenture, companies must use powerful new technologies to innovate their business models and personalize experiences for customers.

“At the same time, leaders must recognize that human values, such as trust and responsibility, are not just buzzwords but critical enablers of their success,” said Daugherty.

The report uncovers five emerging technology trends that business and IT leaders must address to succeed in today’s digital landscape.

# 1 | Understanding DARQ

The technologies of distributed ledgers, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing (DARQ) are “catalysts for change”, according to Accenture. These technologies have the ability to transform entire industries.  

Asked to rank which of these will have the greatest impact on their organization, 41 percent of executives ranked AI as number one— more than twice the number of any other DARQ technology.

# 2 | Personalized experiences

Technology-driven interactions are creating an expanding technology identity for every consumer. This knowledge will be key to understanding the next generation of consumers and for delivering rich, individualized, experience-based relationships.

More than four in five executives (83 percent) said that digital demographics give their organizations a new way to identify market opportunities for unmet customer needs.

# 3 | The ‘human+’ worker

Human workforces will supplement their existing skill sets and knowledge with technological capabilities. As such, companies will need to support a new way of working for the post-digital age.

More than two-thirds (71 percent) of executives believe that their employees are more digitally mature than their organization, resulting in a workforce “waiting” for the organization to catch up.

# 4 | Security first

While today’s businesses are becoming more connected, those connections increase companies’ exposures to risks. Leading businesses recognize that security must play a key role in their efforts to deliver best-in-class products and services and maintain integrity among consumers.

Only 29 percent of executives said they know their ecosystem partners are working diligently to be compliant and resilient with regard to security.

# 5 | Becoming real-time

Companies must reinvent their organizations to capitalize on consumer expectations for on-demand experiences. That means viewing each opportunity as if it’s an individual and momentary market.

Six in seven executives (85 percent) said that the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.