RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The opportunity for Irish businesses to deliver personalised experiences in a “post-digital” world is now, with almost nine in ten (89%) Irish executives reporting the pace of innovation in their organisations has accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies.
  • Two thirds (66%) of the Irish business and IT executives surveyed believe that digital technologies — social, mobile, analytics and cloud — have moved beyond adoption silos to become part of the core technology foundation for their organisation, raising the question of how businesses will truly set themselves apart.
  • Digital transformation grants companies’ exceptional capabilities, but with that, for companies looking to differentiate themselves, leaders must be aware of five distinct trends that will characterise the “post-digital” future.


What the post-digital era will look like

The report, which features views from 6,672 business and IT executives worldwide, including over 100 Irish C-level executives and directors, highlights the emergence of a post-digital world where the pace of technology innovation in their organisations had either accelerated or significantly accelerated over the past three years, and where technology is no longer an add-on.

Given their collective prioritisation 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 characterised 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 customisation 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.

It is in delivering individualised customer relationships that is where the opportunity lies, with three in four Irish executives (76%) agreeing that the integration of customisation and real-time delivery is the next big wave of creating a competitive advantage. Businesses will need to turn that illusion into reality if they want to meet rising expectations. The coming era will be characterised 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. Organisations will need to deliver not just personalised, but also individualised 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 organisations 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 customised, 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 individualised, 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 recognising 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 customised and on-demand experiences, and companies must reinvent their organisations 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.

About the Authors

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


David Kirwan

Head of Technology – Ireland

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Get the essentials

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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Get the executive summary, all five trends and the bigger picture. Find out how this year’s report fits within our current three-year set of technology trends. Dig into the full Tech Vision, from start to finish.

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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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