Digital transformation — AKA DT or Industry 4.0 — is changing everything, but even if your company succeeds, and such success is rare, the veracity of your data will make or break you. In the emerging data-driven economy where trust is essential, there is too-little focus being placed on the accuracy of that data, said Michael Biltz, Managing Director for Accenture Technology Vision and Accenture Technology Labs. He told IT Trends & Analysis “companies are not making investments to make sure the data is true.” In the past it didn’t matter if the data wasn’t right, but that’s not true anymore, he added.
It’s no longer a case of if, but when you embrace digital transformation. On average, companies going digital expect to increase annual revenues by 2.9% and reduce costs by 3.6%, but the DT overachievers are looking at both revenue gains and cost reductions of more than 30% at the same time. But achieving DT is hard: the failure rates for unsuccessful digital transformation projects range from a low of 70% to as high as 84%, with the biggest barrier being cultural resistance to change, followed by legacy IT systems and retaining critical talent, respectively.
For the global 2000 companies, digital transformation is mandatory, said Biltz. “This is not optional.”
According to “Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed: Redefine Your Company Based on the Company You Keep,” the professional services giant’s annual technology report, DT – the multi-trillion-dollar business phenomenon enabled by cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security – trust will be a critical component. The survey of more than 6,300 business and IT executives worldwide found that the rapid advancements in technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, ‘are enabling companies to not just create innovative products and services, but change the way people work and live.’
“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,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer, in a prepared statement. “This requires a new type of relationship, built on trust and the sharing of large amounts of personal information.”
However, all this presupposes that customers, employees and partners, and regulators are trustworthy, and that the data they make their decisions on is accurate, said Biltz. “The reality is we are not holding, companies are not holding, themselves to a high enough standard.”
As opposed to the current environment where companies – and others – exchange products and services for compensation from their customers, the customers are feeding information and access back to them. Accenture says 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.’
This requires a fundamental change to a different type of business, said Biltz. “I as a company become indispensable.” Businesses have to become customer and employee focused.
“Focus now is not just on people, but how we’re transforming our relationships… and that requires different way of looking at the world.” How do I create different kinds of relationships, different kinds of partnerships?
Positioned as a Leader in IDC’s Worldwide Digital Transformation Consulting and Systems Integration Services 2017 Vendor Assessment, Accenture is also grappling with DT internally, as its more than 400,000 professionals visit more than 10,000 customer sites daily, said CIO Andrew Wilson. Organizations need to transform from old techniques and waterfall philosophies to much more horizontal processes and experiences, he said. “You have to be much more real-time.”
5 Emerging Trends
In this year’s survey Accenture identified five emerging technology trends that companies must address if they are to build the partnerships needed to succeed in today’s digital economy:
Citizen AI: Raising AI to Benefit Business and Society. As artificial intelligence (AI) grows in its capabilities, so does its impact on people’s lives. Businesses looking to capitalize on AI’s potential must acknowledge this impact, “raising” AI to act as responsible representatives of their business.
Extended Reality: The End of Distance. Virtual and augmented reality technologies are transforming the ways people live and work by removing the distance to people, information and experiences.
Data Veracity: The Importance of Trust. By transforming themselves to run on data, businesses now face a new kind of vulnerability: inaccurate, manipulated and biased data that leads to corrupted business insights and skewed decisions. To address this challenge, companies must follow a dual mandate to maximize veracity and minimize incentives for data manipulation.
Frictionless Business: Built to Partner at Scale. Businesses depend on technology-based partnerships for growth, but their own legacy systems aren’t designed to support partnerships at scale. To fully power the connected Intelligent Enterprise, companies must first re-design themselves.
Internet of Thinking: Creating Intelligent Distributed Systems. Businesses are making big bets on intelligent environments via robotics, AI and immersive experiences, but bringing these intelligent environments to life will require not only adding key skills and workforce capabilities, but also modernizing current enterprise technology infrastructures.