RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Digital transformation grants companies exceptional capabilities. But it also creates enormous expectations.
  • Amid these rising expectations, every business is investing in digital technologies, raising the question of how leaders will set themselves apart.
  • Companies looking to differentiate themselves must be aware of five distinct trends that will characterize the “post-digital” future.


What the post-digital era will look like

Today, digital technology is a strategic priority for every business. In the Accenture Technology Vision 2019 survey of more than 6,600 business and IT executives, 94% of respondents said the pace of technology innovation in their organizations had either accelerated or significantly accelerated over the past three years.

Given their collective prioritization of digital technology, every company will eventually converge on the same turning point—one where digital-era technology, which began as a differentiating advantage, is something expected from every business. In other words: The digital playing field will eventually even out.

So, what will this new, “post-digital” world look like? It will be characterized by companies looking for the next competitive edge.

Companies already face a new level of expectations from consumers, employees and business partners. Businesses have used the power of digitally driven mass customization to sell two different options of a good or service, then 10 different options, then 100 different options. Companies’ success with this approach has fostered for them the illusion that they can meet any need, no matter how personal or custom.

Businesses will need to turn that illusion into reality if they want to meet rising expectations. The coming era will be characterized by massive pressure as customers, employees and society make their demands known. But it will also provide tremendous opportunities for those companies that can deliver the appropriate experience at just the right time.

How to confront the realities of the post-digital future

The post-digital era will be one where each consumer, employee and business partner will have their own reality, and every moment will represent an opportunity for companies to play a role in shaping it. Organizations will need to deliver not just personalized, but also individualized experiences to meet digitally mature expectations.

Meeting that challenge will require businesses to acknowledge that they’re not alone on their digital transformations. People have been transforming too. Customers, employees and even threat actors will reflect different post-digital realities. Our five trends examine what the post-digital world will look like from the perspectives of these groups—so critical to every company’s success—and the technologies that will help businesses lead in this next phase of innovation.

"A post-digital world doesn’t mean that digital is over. On the contrary, we’re posing a new question: as all organizations develop their digital competency, what will set YOU apart?"

@PaulDaugh, Accenture CTIO. #TechVision2019

Explore our technology trends

These five tech trends are creating the foundation for the post-digital era.

DARQ Power: Understanding the DNA of DARQ
New technologies are a catalyst for change. The next set of technologies every company will need to master? DARQ: distributed ledger technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computing. DARQ technologies will be the next source of differentiation and disruptive technology. As these technologies reach maturity and converge, they will let businesses expand upon their digital capabilities to build intelligent and highly customized, in-the-moment experiences that help shape the lives of their customers, business partners and employees.

Get to Know Me: Unlock unique consumers and unique opportunities
Tech-driven interactions create a tech identity for every consumer. It’s the key to understanding the next generation of consumers and delivering individualized, experience-based relationships in the post-digital era.

Human+ Worker: Change the workplace or hinder the workforce
People are incorporating technology-driven capabilities alongside their existing skills and experience to do new kinds of work, in new ways. Now, companies must adapt their technology strategies to support the realities of working in the post-digital age.

Secure US to Secure ME: Enterprises are not victims, they’re vectors
Ecosystem-driven business connections increase companies’ exposure to risk. Leaders are recognizing that just as they collaborate with entire ecosystems to deliver best-in-class products, services and experiences, security must be part of that effort as well.

MyMarkets: Meet consumers’ needs at the speed of now
Technology is creating a world of intensely customized and on-demand experiences, and companies must reinvent their organizations to find and capture those opportunities as they come.

About the research

Every year, Technology Vision and Accenture Research professionals identify five technology trends that will shape business over the next three years.

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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The five tech trends in this year’s report reflect the parallel digital transformations of companies and people. The 2019 Technology Vision welcomes businesses into the new post-digital era.

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Here’s your 10-minute primer on the next set of tech innovations and trends essential for the leaders in the coming post-digital era.

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As business undergoes digital transformation, people change as well, and they’re challenging companies to work with them or adapt in a variety of ways.

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