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Digital disruption: The growth multiplier

Optimizing digital investments to realize higher productivity and growth


Growing the digital economy

While organizations are taking advantage of digital technologies, many economies remain digitally immature. Even though Accenture Strategy research estimates that the digital economy, involving some form of digital skills and digital capital, represents 22.5 percent of the world economy, digital’s ability to unlock value is far from being fully exploited.

Understanding which digital investments can best improve gross domestic product (GDP) is the subject of recent analysis by Accenture Strategy and Oxford Economics. Accenture Strategy research highlights the increasing importance of digital to world economies, with our forecast of digital economy growth rising to 25.0 percent by 2020.

Our analysis also shows the potential uplift in GDP is even greater if digital investments are tailored to the specific needs of each economy. We reveal an optimal combination of investments in digital skills, technologies and accelerators could help business leaders and policy makers be more competitive, productive and enrich people’s quality of life.


Key Findings

Optimizing digital value

Accenture Strategy research evaluated the digital approach of 11 national economies and 13 industry sectors and found that 28 percent of output in mature market economies is digital. But there are greater gains to be had in productivity and growth.

Earlier research showed us a 10-point increase in digital density is associated with an approximately 0.4 percentage point increase in total factor productivity growth for advanced economies. If we optimize that 10-point growth across three value levers—digital skills, digital technologies and digital accelerators—digital can act as a growth multiplier to enhance productivity and output gains across the economy.

For example, in the United States, a 10-point digital density improvement optimized across the three levers could add 2.1 percent to 2020 gross domestic product, the equivalent of adding US$421 billion to the economy.

Country By Country Outcomes

Find out how your country could optimize the digital opportunity.

2016 economy

The digital economy as a share of gross domestic product

Digital economy:

2021 economy

Forecast growth of the digital economy

Digital economy:


2021 economy-optimized

Potential economic growth from a 10-point boost in digital value levers

2021 optimized economy:

Digital value levers

The optimal mix for economic growth

Digital skills


Digital technology


Digital accelerators



Exploit the growing digital economy. Key actions business leaders and policy makers must take to improve their economic opportunities.

Three ways to drive new productivity and growth include:
Prioritize digital investments based on value opportunities.

Prioritize digital investments based on value opportunities.

Balance digital investments so that an optimal combination of digital improvements helps you to deliver the best returns.
Compete using an industry-specific digital strategy.

Compete using an industry-specific digital strategy.

Be clear on which platform, what roles and which data are fundamental to compete successfully in your industry.
Create the right environment for digital transformation.

Create the right environment for digital transformation.

Improve your “digital IQ,” teaming with government to open up cross-industry relationships and change the rules of competition.

Digital Transformation of Industries


The growth multiplier for public service

Bernard Le Masson, managing director with Accenture Strategy, shares how the Growth Multiplier provides insight into the role of digital and economic growth. He explains how this is especially significant to governments and other public service top civil servants as they look at ways to strengthen GDP growth.

Invest in Digital Skills

Digital disruption: A window of opportunity for the workforce of the future

Conventional wisdom suggests that employees are a barrier to digital progress, yet Accenture Strategy research shows the opposite is true. Compared with business leaders, employees are more positive about digital improving their work experience and job prospects, and more proactive in preparing themselves for the demands of a digital business.


Workers of the world are united. And up for digital.

The Platform Economy

Welcome to the platform economy

Hear what Bruno Berthon, managing director of Accenture Strategy, has to say about the platform economy—where organizations tap into resources and capacity that they do not have to own. Find out how the platform business model is potentially the greatest opportunity for digital growth today.

"The high growth rates of many digital companies can now be enjoyed by traditional industry incumbents using platform models to create an ecosystem of partners and customers."
Bruno Berthon, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy

Contact Us

Mark Knickrehm

Mark Knickrehm
Group Chief Executive
Accenture Strategy
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Bruno Berthon

Bruno Berthon
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy
Digital Strategy
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Paul Daugherty

Paul Daugherty
Chief Technology & Innovation Officer
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