April 18, 2017
People Empowerment is Heart of Digital Revolution: Putting Tech Vision 2017 Trends to Work for Good
By: Mark Knickrehm

The 2017 Accenture Technology Vision highlights five trends and innovations that will empower people to invent more and achieve more in the era of the intelligent enterprise.

The overarching theme, “Amplify You,” focuses on disruption from artificial intelligence, platform-based ecosystems, on-demand labor platforms and human-centered design. The report also addresses the need to set new standards as new industries are invented in an ecosystem-driven digital economy.

Ultimately, this year’s Tech Vision illustrates that human empowerment is at the heart of the digital revolution. After all, rapid advances have created a people-centric technology environment—giving individuals the power to shape technology as they see fit.

People Core to Digital Revolution: Tech Vision 2017 Trends Go to Work for Good@AccentureTech

What’s in it for people?

Beyond being empowered, how will people benefit from digital disruptions and innovations? Businesses and governments often view digital through an efficiency lens; in other words, how new technologies can help people do more with less.

But while efficiency and profitability are important objectives, they overlook the full and vast potential of digital technology.

Perhaps a better question: What are the implications of the Technology Vision trends for our broader society? Accenture Strategy and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have been exploring this topic since 2015.

Economics of Digital Transformation

Through the Digital Transformation Initiative, we’re working with the WEF to understand and quantify digital value.

To date, we’ve studied more than 130 digital initiatives spanning 11 industries. My Accenture colleagues and I were thrilled that WEF in January featured more than 10 Digital Transformation Initiative sessions—an incredibly high number compared to prior years.

We are equally energized by our findings to date, which make it clear that digital can make a real difference to individuals, families and society at large.

Indeed, beyond driving efficiency or profitability, digital transformation can support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of improving quality of life, fostering equitable growth and protecting the environment.

Unique framework

At WEF, I had the opportunity to serve on a panel discussion, “Unlocking Digital Value to Society.” During that panel, as well as in other sessions throughout the conference, we shared highlights of Accenture’s work with WEF.

One of the most important highlights is Digital Value to Society—a unique economic framework for quantifying the impact of digital transformation on both industry, as well as wider society.

Although we continue to refine it, the framework can now be applied at all levels of business and government. In fact, we’ve already completed a proof of concept of the framework for 11 industries and conducted successful pilots on a national level in the United Kingdom, Denmark and India, and at a state level in Telangana, India.

Unlocking a windfall

Our analysis suggests that six digital initiatives alone could unlock $335 billion of value for UK industry and society over the next decade. When scaled across other industries and initiatives, digitalization could yield potential value of as much as $1 trillion in the United Kingdom.

For India, the potential value of four digital initiatives—digital payments, e-commerce, connected travel services and the sharing economy—is even more impressive: as much as $5 trillion for industry and society over the next 10 years.

Even in Denmark, already a highly advanced digital economy, we identified four digital initiatives that could generate $54 billion in value.

I invite you to learn more about how the new Technology Vision trends can be applied now for societal and individual benefit, as well as how the ideas feed directly into our work with the Digital Transformation Initiative.

In particular, consider how the Digital Value to Society framework can help not only governments, but also business leaders, to calibrate the broader societal benefits of their own decisions and investments in digital technologies.

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