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Swift, agile and ruthlessly customer focused

What we can learn from digital innovation hubs


Digital disruptors are so fast on their feet that they can reinvent what “good” looks like in a matter of months.

Only 19 percent of legacy organizations have complete confidence in their operating models’ ability to keep pace. But some are already leveraging digital innovation hubs—small and highly fluid, inter-disciplinary teams that embrace lean methodologies and are empowered to experiment with new ideas in small batches, often in partnership with outsiders—to solve customer needs. Their challenge going forward: to learn from both the hubs and the disruptors how to become more holistically agile.


Key Findings

Speed, agility and ruthless customer focus distinguish digital innovation hubs.

Hubs are elastic: ready, willing and able to pivot in response to new customer realities as they emerge, rather than reactively.

Hubs hack for growth: instead of making one big investment upfront in an idea that may not fly, digital innovation hubs experiment in small batches, piece-by-piece, to ensure that customers are happy with each outcome—and if they aren’t, the hubs can swiftly pivot to alternative options.

Hubs swarm and re-form: liquid workforces, self-organized and with different skill sets, constitute crack teams equipped with all the necessary means—including the ability to make decisions autonomously, without escalating upwards.

Hubs play with others: by sharing complementary assets with non-traditional partners (including potential competitors), digital innovation hubs are forming formidable ecosystems that create capabilities greater than the sum of their parts and drive new value for both parties.


Four key shifts will be critical to success:

From multi-year business plans and quarterly governance to rolling roadmaps and real-time decisions.

From up-front product and service design to iterative growth stories, using analytics and traction metrics to test hypotheses and continuously enhance the customer offer.

From static, functional teams to crack squads drawn from across the organization (and beyond) to solve for the customer, not for the function.

From renting non-core transactional capabilities to forming strategic partnerships that enable new customer offers for both the organization and its partners.


Yaarit Silverstone

Yaarit Silverstone

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Talent & Organization
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Kent McMillan

Kent McMillan

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy, Talent & Organization
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