In brief

In brief

  • Five technology trends are upping the game and allowing companies to tap into the powerful potential of intelligent enterprise, creating new business opportunities and helping to change the world as we know it.
  • Leading companies are improving the way we live with new products and services that will become indispensable in the future.
  • Business is getting personal. Leaders must shift their mindsets and business models to focus on forging strong, trusted relationships with partners, customers, employees, governments, and more.

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence and other technologies are accelerating the creation of intelligent enterprises and enabling companies to increasingly integrate themselves into people’s lives. However, this requires a new era of leadership that priorities trust and greater responsibility. Accenture Technology Vision 2018, our annual technology report, predicts the key technology trends likely to disrupt business over the next three years.

Technology Vision: Ireland

As part of the Technology Vision, Accenture surveyed more than 6,300 business and IT executive’s worldwide business and IT executives worldwide, including 100 Irish C-level executives and directors. This year’s report, highlights how rapid advancements in technologies—including artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and the cloud—are enabling companies to not just create innovative products and services, but change the way people work and live. Capitalizing on growth opportunities while also having a positive impact on society requires a new era of leadership that prioritizes trust and greater responsibility. Just as cities developed around ports and then railroads, or people rebuilt their lives around electricity, the world today is reimagining itself around digital innovation—and, by extension, the companies that provide those services. This requires a new type of relationship, built on trust and the sharing of large amounts of personal information.

Just as cities developed around ports and then railroads, or people rebuilt their lives around electricity, the world today is reimagining itself around digital innovation.

This year’s Tech Vision trends are:

Trend 1: Citizen AI
As AI continues to rapidly evolve, it’s becoming a partner among people, with unprecedented access and impact on the ways people work and live. Deploying AI is now about more than training it to perform a given task.

By “raising” AI responsibly, businesses will create a collaborative powerful new member of the workforce—a responsible representative of the business, and a contributing member of society. Learn more here.


Irish businesses believe AI will work alongside humans within two years.


of executives surveyed in Ireland believe that organisations are not prepared to face the implications of AI-based decisions.

Trend 2: Extended Reality
Immersive experiences, through technologies like virtual and augmented reality, are changing how we connect with people, information, and experiences—taking us to faraway places and making distance a thing of the past. Extended reality is the first technology to “relocate” people in time and space, and we are here for it.

As immersive experiences spread across industries, the fundamental changes to enterprise and society are clear: The importance of place is disappearing. Learn more here.


of Irish businesses believe it will be important to leverage Extended Reality (XR) solutions to close the gap of physical distance when engaging with employees and customers


state it is very important for their organisations to be a pioneer in XR solutions.

Trend 3: Data Veracity
Business must adapt existing capabilities to combat a new kind of vulnerability: inaccurate, manipulated, and biased data that leads to corrupted business insights companies rely on to plan, operate, and grow. Unverified data is a new type of vulnerability, and one that every business leveraging digital technologies must address. Autonomous, data-driven decision-making is increasing across industries.

Left unchecked, the potential harm from bad data becomes an enterprise-level existential threat. Ensuring the integrity and veracity of data has now become paramount to strong leadership. Learn more here.


of executives surveyed in agree that most organisations are not prepared to confront the impending waves of corrupted insights.


of executives agree that organizations are basing their most critical systems and strategies on data, yet many have not invested in the capabilities to verify the truth within it.

Trend 4: Frictionless Business
Companies need to utilize strategic partnerships to keep from falling behind. When these partnerships are technology-based, they can expand partner networks faster and into more ecosystems than ever before. Outdated, legacy systems are becoming a major hindrance to the relationships companies need to grow in order to innovate, compete, and win.

Microservices architectures, blockchain, and smart contracts are the cornerstone of technology partnerships. Those that invest in these changes today will lead the way to redefine how businesses transact in the future. Learn more here.


of Irish executives report that the number of partners their organisation works with has doubled or more compared to two years ago.


of businesses surveyed in Ireland state that blockchain and smart contracts will be critical or very critical to their organizations over the next three years.

Trend 5: Internet of Thinking
Robotics, immersive reality, artificial intelligence, and connected devices are bringing a new level of technological sophistication to the physical world. But businesses that assume their existing IT infrastructures will support these systems do so at their peril.

Enabling intelligence for the next generation of technology demands an overhaul of existing IT infrastructures. A balance of cloud and edge computing along with a renewed focused on hardware can help companies deliver intelligence everywhere. Learn more here.


of Irish executives believe it will be critical over the next two years to leverage customer hardware and hardware accelerators to meet the computing demands of intelligent environments.


of Irish executives agree enterprises must balance cloud and edge computing to maximise technology infrastructure agility and enable intelligence everywhere.

RELATED: Technology Vision 2018—Ireland Briefing
RELATED: Accenture Technology

David Kirwan

Head of Technology – Accenture Ireland


Trend 1: Citizen AI
Trend 2: Extended Reality
Trend 3: Data Veracity

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