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 (of which 168 were oil and gas companies) 94 percent of respondents said the pace of technology innovation in their organizations had either accelerated or significantly accelerated over the past three years.
The energy industry continues to play catch up with changing consumer expectations and the pace of digital transformation. Technology companies are larger (as measured by market capitalisation) and are looking to disrupt all sectors including energy. The energy industry will need to defend itself from these disruptors at a time when it is experiencing diminishing returns (despite widespread cost efficiencies) and increasing investor and activist scrutiny.
A post-digital age
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 changing consumer expectations which are becoming more “digitally mature”. Businesses need to acknowledge that they’re not alone on their digital transformations and that people too are transforming – often faster than any organization.
The “post digital” world will be characterised by companies who are looking for the next new competitive edge. This world will see companies turning the potential of digital into reality. To date, businesses have used the power of digitally driven mass customization to sell two different options of products or services, 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 customized. The next 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 to maximize new digital technologies to enhance their decision making, making their operations more efficient and delivering the appropriate product or experience at just the right time.
Accenture’s Technology Vision explores five trends which explore what the post-digital world could look like from such perspectives. There are critical to every company’s success—and include the technologies that will help the energy sector lead in this next phase of innovation.
Understanding this post technology future is essential. Given their collective prioritization of digital technology, every energy 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.
Digital has moved to the core of the energy business. Energy executives are reporting that the digital technologies of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (so called “SMAC”) have now moved beyond adoption silos and have become part of the technology foundation of their business. The next challenge is to develop the next generation of technologies to become really differentiated and stay ahead of the competition.