February 10, 2016
Survey Indicates Enterprises Doubling Down on Digital—Accenture Technology Vision 2016
By: Renee Byrnes
Companies taking people first approach when investing in future of technology

Do you ever become so enthralled in a bestselling novel that you can’t put it down? That’s how I felt when I analyzed the results from the Accenture Technology Vision 2016 survey. As the senior researcher on the Tech Vision team,* I love to read the data.

Why? Because it tells a story. The survey results have a plot line that reveals a fascinating progression in how business and IT leaders are viewing the digital revolution—and what they’re doing about it. The data also provides dimension to some key “characters,” which are better known as the results that substantiate the five technology trends in this year’s Tech Vision.

For example, here’s a year-over-year comparison of the data for this core question: To what extent are you comprehensively investing in digital technologies as part of your overall business strategy? In 2015, the global response was 35 percent. This year, the global response jumped to 49 percent—a 40 percent increase (see Figure 1). 

Figure 1: How organizations are investing in digital technologies (2015 vs. 2016)

Figure 1: How organizations are investing in digital technologies (2015 vs. 2016)

This means nearly half of the Global 2000 enterprises we surveyed are doubling down on digital. They are investing more than ever before in technology innovations--social, mobile, analytics, big data, cloud, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence--in order to evolve their businesses.

Here’s another exciting discovery: this data-driven finding about digital reinforces the main message of the Accenture Technology Vision for the past few years. In 2013, we made a bold statement that “every business is a digital business.” In 2014, we talked about how industry giants were becoming digital disrupters in their own right. In 2015, the IT trends looked at how leading companies and governments were stretching their digital boundaries. And the 2016 survey results validate that these predictions were on target.

Digital investments emphasize people first

The increase in digital investments is consistent year over year in many industries, too. Take Life Sciences, for example, which Accenture defines as biotechnology companies and pharmaceuticals. As outlined in our new Life Sciences point of view and accompanying blog post, the industry is in the midst of a digital transformation.

The industry cut from this year’s survey parallels the global results. In 2015, 34 percent of surveyed Life Sciences organizations indicated they were comprehensively investing in digital; the number surged to 44 percent in 2016 (see Figure 2). 

Figure 2: How Life Sciences organizations are investing in digital technologies (2015 vs. 2016)

Figure 2: How Life Sciences organizations are investing in digital technologies (2015 vs. 2016)

What’s exciting is that leading Life Sciences companies are emphasizing People First in this transition. Life sciences giant Bayer understands this particularly well. Triggered by changing relationships with its customers, the 150-year old organization has fully embraced a digital transformation strategy to holistically build digital into its DNA across the company’s pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science divisions.

Critically, however, Bayer’s Chief Digital Office Jessica Federer believes the core of their digital strategy is people—stating that at Bayer: “Digital transformation is a people topic, not a technology topic.” She adds that it is not a top-down, big-vision strategy to tell everyone what to do—rather, a lot of people already at Bayer know what needs to be done and “the change is opening the doors and letting them lead.”  Bayer also strives towards diversity and new ideas. For example, the company has used its crowdsourcing initiative Bayer Grants4Apps, to encourage startups from around the globe that will advance their business ideas and technologies.1

Leading digital enterprises, such as Bayer, know their success hinges on people. They are evolving their corporate cultures to take advantage of emerging technologies and, perhaps more importantly, to embrace the new business strategies that those technologies drive. I’m already excited to see how next year’s Vision survey results will add to the storyline.

To learn more and view the Accenture Technology Vision 2016 survey results, I invite you to read the chapter highlights, check out a range of informative at-a-glance visuals, view our videos and slideshares, and keep checking this blog for more discussion of these trends.

*Renee Byrnes is a research senior principal with Accenture Research. She is the research lead for the Technology Vision and conducts the annual Tech Vision survey.  This year, the demographics of the survey included more than 3,100 business and IT executives around the world across multiple industries and 11 countries. The survey is designed to understand their perspectives on the impact of technology on their organizations, and to identify their priority technology investments over the next few years (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Demographics for Technology Vision 2016 survey

Figure 3: Demographics for Technology Vision 2016 survey

1 “Dmexco 2015: Bayer CDO Says Digital Transformation Is About Culture, Not Technology,” CMO, September 18, 2015:; “How Bayer transformed its approach to digital,” PM Live, January 15, 2016:; “Digital Transformation at Bayer,” SAP, 2015:; Bayer HealthCare Launches "Grants4Apps" 2015 Accelerator Program, Bayer press release, August 21, 2015:

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