January 27, 2014
Digital Redefines Big Business in this year’s Technology Vision
By: Ariel Bernstein

Every business is a digital business. We have moved past the point where businesses can consider just exploring digital and to a place where digital must be considered a core competency in businesses of all sizes and across industries. For business leaders everywhere, the next three years will be about determining their organization’s pace in this digital race—and their place in the new world of digital.

For some time now this conversation has been driven by the start-ups that have disrupted countless industries. While these companies will still exist and continue to make waves, this year Accenture believes it is time to expand the conversation. More and more large organizations, even those outside the IT industry, are actively leading the digital charge. Instead of being pressured by it, or taking a fast-follower approach, they are beginning to leverage their vast resources and capital not only to react to technology disruption but also to embrace it.

Who is doing it now? Look at Tesco. In the last two years, the United Kingdom–based global supermarket chain not only has created interactive grocery stores in airports and subway stations but also has expanded into new industries. Tesco now offers movie streaming, e-books, and even its own 7-inch tablet priced as low as $91.

The grocery retailer is well on its way to becoming a truly digital business. More than 20 percent of Tesco’s online sales now come through smartphones, and 10 percent of all orders from Tesco Direct come through its mobile Web site. Over the years, Tesco’s leaders—IT leaders included—have moved from experimenting with social media, mobile, cloud computing, and analytics toward mastery of those digital domains. They have learned by doing, steadily gaining the skills and the competencies to pull ahead of their competitors and prove to their stakeholders that they have what it takes to excel in the new digital economy.

While most enterprises are not there yet, Tesco is hardly alone. Companies that follow this model and pair a strong digital competency with their experience, resources, and ability to scale quickly, will actively create new opportunities and position themselves to not only disrupt their industry, but to establish a foothold in others as well. In many ways, digital is fostering a renaissance for large companies, allowing them to reconnect with what made them industry leaders in the first place.

All businesses, from the Fortune 500 to small businesses, are facing a pressing need to re-examine their capabilities in light of the next stages of their digital journeys. The Technology Vision can help guide this journey by presenting the important IT trends that will be impacting your business in the future. The Technology Vision 2014 report highlights six themes that fully reflect the shifts emerging now among the digital power brokers of tomorrow:

  • The Digital-Physical Blur: Extending Intelligence to the Edge

  • From workforce to crowdsource: Rise of the borderless enterprise

  • Data supply chain: Putting information into circulation

  • Harnessing hyperscale: Hardware is back (and never really went away)

  • Business of applications: Software as a core competency in the digital world

  • Architecting resilience: “Built to survive failure” becomes the mantra of the nonstop business

To find more about the Accenture Technology Vision, you can read the full text, visit our microsite, and keep checking our blogspace to see more in-depth discussion of these trends. For more information on developing digital as a core competency in your organization, check out Accenture’s new practice, Accenture Digital.

The opportunity for every C-suite executive is to be a digital disrupter – to recreate and redefine the business to create lasting competitive advantage. The potential for growth is limited only by the creativity of the enterprise itself. Now is the time to stop thinking about being disrupted by digital technology and start using it to become a disrupter. The opportunity is there; what’s stopping you from taking it?

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