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Tech Vision Trend 3: The dilemma of smart things

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“Beta burden”: the unintended consequences when products, and their contained experiences, are constantly in flux.

Consider smart appliances.

A refrigerator might last 20 years but add a touchscreen to the door and some digital capabilities, and that life expectancy could drop fast. The fridge might still keep food cold, but the smart capabilities won’t be very useful if the screen gets too old to function.

As companies from all industries integrate digital technology into products, they will increasingly have to contend with the “digital deaths” of those products. It’s what we call the dilemma of smart things in our Technology Vision 2020 report.

This state of “forever beta,” however, opens a wellspring of opportunity.

To deliver the wide-ranging experiences companies hope to achieve through flexible, updateable products, they must rethink the way the entire organization develops, delivers and supports its outputs.

Finding new value in new tech

Done right, product-driven experiences are shaped by continuous value expansion.

As companies move into the future, updateable products with the ability to expand services and experiences at a moment’s notice will help them respond to changing customer demands and expectations as they happen. 

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Career skills need to adapt and advance as companies evolve to future systems. 

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Bhaskar Ghosh, Accenture’s Group Chief Executive for Technology Services, explains: “Tech is everywhere, but value isn’t. I call this frustrating predicament the ‘innovation achievement gap.’”  He outlines ways leaders can get the full value from tech in “Future Systems: Finding New Value.”.

Creating hyper-relevant experiences

An example of a fully functioning future-ready system is our work with Carnival Corporation.

We implemented a complete tech overhaul on its popular cruise ships, helping them move away from legacy systems to embrace a cloud-based property management platform composed of almost 200 microservices designed around guests and their shifting needs.

The Ocean® guest experience platform is a “living” system, which centers around the OceanMedallion™, a wearable device that every guest sailing MedallionClass™ receives and connects them to an ecosystem of services and experiences powered by the platform.

Our Sean Hyland, Digital Technical Architect, led the Accenture team in formulating strategic approaches to address key functional challenges identified by Carnival Corporation, evaluating potential market solutions and recommending a path aligned with their strategic vision of transforming the guest experience.

The team included Technology Consulting Senior Manager Christopher Khavarian, who was responsible for the overall delivery of our hospitality management solution; Digital Business Integration Senior Manager Rajeesh Rajagopalan, who was in charge of digital solutions; and Business & Integration Architect, Associate Manager Caitlyn Tufts, who worked to define functional requirements and validate the digital solutions for guests and crew members.

Are your skills ready for future systems?

As companies evolve and adapt to future systems, career skills need to adapt and advance, too.

Watch our Technology Vision 2020 Global Webcast for insights and examples on the five trends shaping the technology industry and what that means for today’s workforce. 

Innovate with the work you do, every day. Find your fit with Accenture.


Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and New Applied Now are trademarks of Accenture.

This document makes descriptive reference to trademarks that may be owned by others. The use of such trademarks herein is not an assertion of ownership of such trademarks by Accenture and is not intended to represent or imply the existence of an association between Accenture and the lawful owners of such trademarks.


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