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Being digital: Seven essential “no-regret” capabilities

As organizations move forward on their digital journeys, seven capabilities are essential to manage disruption and grow.


Despite marketplace uncertainties, it is becoming evident that organizations that successfully leverage digital technologies for new growth operate with a different set of rules and capabilities. According to Accenture Strategy research, creating these new digital capabilities within the next 12 months ranks as a top priority with executives.

Incumbent organizations not only have the right to play by the new digital rules, but also the ability to redefine them to their competitive advantage. These organizations can identify, develop and excel with digital by adopting seven critical “no-regret” capabilities. As the term implies, these capabilities can help organizations develop and improve today, irrespective of their digital strategy or industry, to realize benefits for the longer term.


More than one-half of business leaders think the biggest impact of new digital technologies in their industry will result from new entrants emerging with new business models.

Key Findings

The seven “no-regret” capabilities are:

  • Sense and interpret disruption: Interpret what changes mean to the business and when they will have an impact.

  • Experiment to develop and launch new ideas faster: Solving customer problems means experimenting more and learning to self-disrupt.

  • Fully understand and leverage data: Turn data into useful information and find new ways to monetize it.

  • Build a digitally savvy team: Maintain a workforce with the right digital skills.

  • Partner and invest for all non-core activities: Form new partnerships, especially unorthodox ones.

  • Organize for speed: Gain CEO-level support and foster a dedicated central team to drive the new digital growth.

  • Design a delightful customer experience: Recognize that customers’ primary motivation for repeat business is the quality of their experience.


Senior executives of large incumbent organizations have many legitimate concerns and questions about the digital opportunity, but most organizations are designed to withstand change. Our research shows that 39 percent of executives want their companies to be known as a “digital leader” in their industry. To succeed, business leaders need to:

  • Identify the gaps: Understand which capabilities are most critical to the business and fill any gaps; for example, designing delightful customer experiences might resonate with a bank.

  • Determine priorities: Be objective about where the organization stands vis-à-vis its competitors—not just traditional competitors—and against the digital expectations of its users.

  • Take action: Having found out how the organization measures up against its required capabilities and the market, take the strategic choices that can realize the organization’s digital goals.

Learn more about Accenture Strategy

Adopt "No-Regret" Capabilities