RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Accenture has identified an elite set of global enterprises — the “alpha innovators” — that are innovating securely for competitive differentiation.
  • These alpha innovators are investing heavily in emerging technologies: Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, Quantum Computing and Extended Reality (XR).
  • They are also collaborating with Security executives from day one and throughout the adoption journey.
  • Alpha-innovators leverage five “power plays” that CXOs—and CISOs can use to achieve growth and continuous innovation securely.


Foresight and follow-through for innovation

Future growth depends on continuous innovation with emerging technology. But how can organizations do it securely? Our study reveals what the “alpha innovators” are doing exceptionally well in terms of approach and security acumen to innovate securely.

Insights and takeaways organizations can emulate include how alpha innovators:

  • Bring innovation into the lifecycle to drive business growth and scale approaches
  • Engage across the organization to innovate and behave collaboratively
  • Demonstrate agility and apply security practices to de-risk adoption
  • Build trust in the process with customers, employees, ecosystem partners and governments.
Alpha innovators are much more likely to collaborate with the CXOs and CISOs to fully address Security challenges of emerging technology adoption.

Alpha innovators are much more likely to collaborate with the CXOs and CISOs to fully address Security challenges of emerging technology adoption.

Five power plays to achieve growth

Through preparation, bold action and ongoing commitment, alpha innovators are creating an advanced playbook:

1. Multi-pronged strategy

Invest in adopting all four emerging technologies — AI, 5G, Quantum Computing and XR.

2. Risk mindset

Fully assess the security risks early in the adoption cycle, understand the magnitude and implication of each risk, and develop a plan to de-risk from day one.

3. Borderless collaboration

Engage and work across all aspects of the enterprise for agility, while being responsive to the business by evolving security to keep pace with adoption.

4. Culture of innovation

Create an internal and external ethos of innovation through strategy and workforce skill-building, as well as ecosystem partnerships and acquisitions for security.

5. Defense in depth

Apply a range of protective and detective security for emerging technology through an institutionalized approach to governance, controls and data protections.

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Act now to secure emerging technologies

Our analysis shows emerging technology poses major new security challenges. But most C-suite executives are underestimating the risk—an oversight that could have profound effects on both innovation and growth potential.

Make sure your security approach is future-ready with our detailed technology analysis on:

  • Artificial Intelligence — AI presents a completely new attack surface, including expanded approaches for machine learning models.
  • 5G — 5G features such as virtualization, hyper-accurate location tracking and increased volume and speed of the network are escalating security challenges.
  • Quantum — This new computing paradigm presents numerous threats to organizations and data. Discover ways to safeguard against novel attack vectors, secure “transpilers” and prepare now for post-Quantum cryptography.
  • Extended Reality — A variety of XR modalities present related vulnerabilities, especially when XR content is transferred over the cloud and AI recognition capabilities are on the cloud-as-a-service.
"Security investment protects overall innovation investment. Preparation and collaboration are critical."

— LISA O'CONNOR, Managing Director – Accenture Security and Accenture Labs

Lisa O’Connor​

Managing Director – Accenture Security and Accenture Labs, Cybersecurity R&D Lead


Marc Carrel-Billiard

Global Senior Managing Director – Accenture Labs


Kelly Bissell

Lead –​ Accenture Security


Ethan Hadar

Chief Research Officer – Accenture Labs, Europe

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