RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • From our survey in conjunction with Chubb of more than 1,350 SMEs four key themes emerged in the post-digital landscape
  • In the wake of a global pandemic, the pace of digital adoption is accelerating for SMBs, requiring companies to adapt to safeguard themselves
  • 67% of consumers expect companies to "build back better" opening opportunities for the future to meet customer demands
  • With that opportunity also comes new challenges and emerging risks as small and medium sized businesses adapt to this new environment


Customer expectations are changing rapidly. In fact, according to Accenture’s June 2020 Consumer Pulse Survey 67% of consumers expect companies to “build back better” by investing in longer-term, sustainable and fair solutions. But it isn’t just the demands of consumers weighing on business owners. The same survey found that 53% of employees who never worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic, now plan to work from home more in the future.

Embracing the change to deliver results

To meet these changing expectations, it is imperative that businesses of all sizes embrace technologies that adapt strategies that allow them to be agile. But deciding which digital technologies is increasingly difficult as we enter this post-digital world. Shortly before the arrival of COVID-19, Accenture, in conjunction with Chubb, conducted a survey of 1,350 small and medium sized business leaders around the globe to identify key drivers and trends impacting those businesses. We identified 4 main trends affecting SMEs that all business should understand as they build out their short and long-term strategies.

Navigating digital-first communications

Building digital experiences to reach customers at the right time, and enable seamless delivery of products, tailored to customers’ wants and needs.

Harnessing the power of data

Adopting cloud and other advanced technology, such as AI, to refine customer products and services and optimize business operations.

Supporting a transformed workforce

Addressing the accelerated shift to an increasingly digital workplace with flexible work solutions, career and skill development opportunities.

Playing in the global market

Building opportunities across literal and figurative borders by forming partnerships with other companies to build new products and social platforms.

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Understanding the risks

With opportunities, so comes emerging risks. Business owners need to not only understand how to determine the right investments to prepare their staff, operations and business models for the future, but also the emerging risks and vulnerabilities that come with that, and what can be done to mitigate this effectively. Read the full report to discover what can be done to embrace the digital shift, and protect businesses from new found risks.

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