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Redefining the rules of competitiveness in the digital age

Discover three strategies companies need in order to boost competitiveness in the digital age.


"The majority of companies believe an interdependent Growth & Customer, Profitability and Sustainability & Trust strategy is critical to their future success. Yet, there is limited evidence that an interdependent strategy exists."

Source: Accenture Strategy research

Market speed has accelerated.

With the advent of digital as a disruptor, a number of foundational dynamics have changed. Market speed has accelerated. Unprecedented visibility and transparency are now possible into all aspects of corporate behavior. And a new approach to ecosystem collaboration is required where new capabilities are accessed quickly to pursue new opportunities, especially across industry boundaries.

Digital has changed the old rules of competitiveness forever, rules which were too static, fixed and one dimensional. Those who survive will follow a strategy enabled by digital capabilities with a focus on three interdependent fronts: growth, profitability, sustainability and trust.


Key Findings

Customers now demand value, performance, service, innovation—and a wonderful experience—all at a low cost.

Zenith. RCA. American Motors. Texaco. Polaroid. A handful of once titanic brands. Names that today are nearly forgotten. In their heyday, these companies were leaders of industry and an integral part of the business landscape. Yet since 2000, 52 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 have gone bankrupt, have been acquired, or have ceased to exist. Why? Because digital has irrevocably changed how to compete.

But it is also the tool used across the board to underpin the new rules of competitiveness. The old school approach involved companies developing their greatest competitive muscle on one or two of three areas: growth, profitability or sustainability and trust. Executing with equal strength against all three was unnecessary.

Customers now demand value, performance, service, innovation—and a wonderful experience—all at a low cost. And being competitive means driving these three strategies simultaneously and managing the intersections between each.


To move from competing to being competitive, companies need to intertwine three strategies:

Secure a License to Grow.

Secure a license to grow. By establishing a level of trust with consumers, shareholders and society—ensuring that business practices are sustainable and transparent. This allows scale at speed.  

Create Fuel for Growth.

Create fuel for growth. Linking growth and profitability allows companies to have the required funds at hand to be able to invest quickly and capitalize on opportunities.

Become a Trusted Company.

Become a trusted company. And the interconnection between sustainability and trust and profitability allows for companies to balance socially acceptable and efficient operations to create a solid foundation for the company.


Growth, Profitability, Sustainability and Trust

Mark Pearson on finding personal success and competing in the digital era.

In this Outlook Up Close video, Mark Pearson, managing director, Automotive and Industrial, Accenture Strategy, reveals why growth, profitability, sustainability and trust are key to building a competitive business.