What will drive growth and high performance in the years ahead as organizations around the world navigate through a volatile and fast-changing market environment? Our research and experience with clients point to a fundamental change not only in business models but in the nature of growth and of markets themselves—all enabled by digital technologies.
In fact, this technology is already dissolving traditional industrial and economic distinctions and barriers, as well as provoking lasting changes in what customers have come to expect. Winning companies will be those that emerge as a high-performing class of digitally competitive businesses, armed with new insights and approaches to customer markets and delivery. In this issue of Outlook, we explore a number of examples of this digital disruption.
One article looks at the role being played by the IT function in creating this new class of companies. It is based on the latest Accenture High Performance IT research, the fourth in a series of in-depth reports on the subject we have produced since 2005. This report found that in addition to getting greater strategic impact from their IT function, high performers excel at several specific digital capabilities.
These companies are looking at all things digital to upgrade a host of processes that can catapult their organizations forward. They are investing in digital tools, systems, capabilities and skills to more easily pinpoint useful information—then analyze it, derive insights from it, share it, manage it and, most important, act on it.
Three other articles focus on digital disruption in specific industries.
The first shows how communications and high-tech companies and the healthcare industry are developing cost-effective new ways to engage patients and deliver care virtually anywhere, anytime, by fusing innovative digital solutions with medical expertise.
The article identifies a range of potentially groundbreaking solutions, developed by leading communications and high-tech players, that address some of the healthcare industry’s greatest challenges. By targeting patients and providers with breakthroughs in healthcare infrastructure and cloud-based application portfolios, the industry seeks to cut medical costs while improving delivery quality and patient outcomes. A companion article explores how giving patients broad electronic access to their medical records can deepen their understanding of both prevention and care and make them more motivated to participate in treatment programs.
Digital initiatives are also reshaping the banking industry’s basic business model, a subject explored in the third article. By leveraging social and mobile capabilities, as well as cloud computing, software as a service and the advanced analytics that can help them make sense of Big Data, traditional full-service banks can drive more customer interactions at a lower unit cost. Moreover, by attracting new customer segments, the industry can develop much-needed additional sources of revenue.
These are only three examples of digitally competitive businesses that are transforming their respective industries. I hope that you find their experiences, along with our perspective on related issues we explore in this issue, useful as you develop your own digital strategies.