RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • To compete and differentiate themselves in the post-digital era, companies will need to adopt a new set of emerging technologies.
  • These new technologies will be an important catalyst for change in a world where every industry already has a large arsenal of digital tools.
  • The key set of new tech is DARQ: distributed ledger technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computing.


The world is rapidly moving toward a post-digital era, where leaders will need to set their sights beyond their ongoing digital transformations. With digital capabilities alone no longer serving as a differentiator, future-minded business leaders will need more in their technology arsenals to succeed.

That means embracing a group of emerging technologies to drive the next waves of innovation and growth. Specifically, they will need to master the set of new technologies we call DARQ: distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing.

Why DARQ matters

New technologies have always acted as catalysts for change. Why? Because they consistently deliver extraordinary new capabilities for businesses. Each of the four technologies that make up DARQ will be used individually by businesses across the economy to differentiate their products and services.

"Distributed ledgers, AI, extended reality and quantum computing are the next big technology catalysts for change."

@PaulDaugh, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer – Accenture. #TechVision2019

In fact, individual DARQ technologies are already making a difference across industries today. AI plays a critical role in optimizing processes and influencing strategic decision-making. XR, an immersive technology, creates entirely new ways for people to experience and engage with the world around them. Distributed ledgers are perhaps best known in the context of cryptocurrencies, but they are expanding networks and capabilities by eliminating the need for trusted third parties. And quantum computing, the DARQ technology that remains the most experimental, will usher in novel ways to approach and solve the hardest computational problems.

But collectively, the DARQ technologies will also power the innovation and opportunity uniquely associated with the coming post-digital era. As the business landscape transitions into a combination of digital natives and businesses well into their digital transformations, DARQ is the key that will open unimagined new pathways into the future.

89%

of businesses are already experimenting with one or more DARQ technologies, expecting them to be key differentiators.

What DARQ will do

History has shown that when sets of technologies like these converge over a short period of time, they can spark a massive change, letting businesses reimagine entire industries. DARQ will have the same game-changing effects.

Companies already recognize the power of DARQ. Eighty-nine percent of businesses are currently experimenting with one or more DARQ technologies, expecting them to be key differentiators, and are substantially increasing their DARQ investments.

While each of the individual emerging technologies that make up DARQ are at a different point on the adoption curve, it’s clear that the first wave of companies using DARQ technologies to drive differentiation is already here. Once the collective power of DARQ begins to manifest itself, it might be too late for adopters who lag behind to catch up.

DARQ will let leaders in the post-digital era reimagine their businesses. Being ready to harness the full power of DARQ in that post-digital future means beginning the journey today.



Paul Daugherty

Chief Technology and Innovation Officer – Accenture


Marc Carrel-Billiard

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Labs and Extended Reality


Michael Biltz

Managing Director – Accenture Technology Vision

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