How leaders use technology to innovate, while laggards make investments to survive
November 8, 2021
You don’t have to convince me about the power of technology to drive change and growth. But it’s always satisfying to see research that backs up my own experience. Which is what happened when I talked with our Integrated Global Services Lead, Ramnath Venkataraman in a recent podcast.
We discussed new research that shows how stepping up investments in cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies, leaders in the market are actually growing their revenues at up to five times the rate of laggards. That’s a compelling reason to be grouped with the leaders—and worth exploring how they got there.
Ramnath gave me a bit of history behind these latest findings. In an earlier study in 2019 with 8,300 C-suite executives in different industries across the world, we asked how quickly and to what extent they were embracing tech changes and how this had affected their organizations. Leaders in technology adoption and innovation made up the top 10% and laggards the bottom 25%—and the leaders were growing revenues at 2X the laggards.
Roll forward a year or so and add a pandemic into the mix and we decided to see where some of those executive responses landed today. This time we contacted 4,300 executives and had some dramatic validation that the leaders were definitely on the right path. We discovered leaders were growing not at 2X but 5X the laggards today—even with the recent humanitarian, economic and social disruptions. It means there's a quantum difference between what leaders are doing with technology to drive business growth and what laggards are doing.
Not only that, there’s a further surprising finding that supports the idea that winners really do take all. A new group emerged that we call the leapfroggers and they are challenging the leaders by growing 4X as far as revenues are concerned. Leapfroggers are companies that build core systems strength, scaling new technologies. They also flip their IT budget to favor innovation.
Here’s some of the tactics leapfroggers use, they:
I’ve mentioned before how Accenture was well-placed to tackle the impact of COVID-19 because of our own leapfrogging toward being a digital, omni-connected company. We were able to emerge stronger from the pandemic because we had already invested in the right structure and tools to enable us to switch to a remote working environment for our more than 500,000 people, without skipping a beat.
I invite you to take a closer look at the research. But in the meantime, here are some practical pointers that Ramnath shared with me that could be helpful for your own technology journey to innovation:
I’m excited to update you on this research and look forward to sharing with you more insights from podcasts to come. You can find more of our podcasts here.
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