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Accenture Technology Vision for intelligent infrastructure

Read how large enterprises are making a concerted push to transform themselves from digital followers to digital leaders.

Overview

Big companies are back in the digital game. The momentum in digital innovation is being driven not by newcomers—the Instagrams and TripAdvisors and Airbnbs of the world—but by traditional stalwarts—the Tescos and GEs and Disneys.

Accenture’s 2014 Technology Vision report notes that large enterprises are making a concerted push to transform themselves from followers to leaders in digital. Backed by their deep resources, enormous scale and process discipline, many Global Fortune 1,000 organizations are rewriting entire chapters of the digital playbook. For business leaders everywhere, the next three years will be about determining their organizations’ pace in the digital race, and their place in the new digital world.

Background

The physical world is coming online as objects, devices and machines acquire more digital intelligence. What’s emerging is more than just an Internet of “things”—it’s a new layer of connected intelligence that augments the actions of individuals, automates processes and incorporates digitally powered machines into our lives, increasing our insight into—and control over—the tangible world.

The outcomes? Consumers become better informed and better equipped to influence how they experience everything around them. And businesses get real-time connections to the physical world that allow machines as well as employees to act and react faster—and more intelligently.

Analysis

An intelligent infrastructure is vital to help organizations extend intelligence to the edge. By providing “always on, always connected” capabilities, an intelligent infrastructure can make it much easier to link devices such as smartphones, tablets, sensors and programmable logic controllers to the everyday process interactions of the business.

Importantly, an intelligent infrastructure accelerates and augments the decentralization of technology; new technologies can be provisioned, operated and managed regardless of location. Remotely managed facilities start to become more practical: the lights-out data center can be more than just an interesting theoretical concept.

At the same time, an intelligent infrastructure can help the organization to serve up a rich multimedia experience for the user—offering compelling and very detailed graphics, moving text, super-sharp images and more, consistent with what more and more media-savvy users are starting to expect. Those levels of user experience can be presented on a wide range of devices—again, consonant with users’ growing expectations.

Key Findings

Pivotal to companies’ digital efforts will be an emphasis on getting the IT infrastructure right. Accenture believes that developing intelligent infrastructure services can give companies significant competitive advantage as part of their overall digital strategy. Intelligent infrastructure services help enterprises react to—and even stay ahead of—market and technology changes. They can also help organizations serve customers better, collaborate and innovate more effectively, and reduce costs more predictably.

Our research has revealed six technology vectors that IT leaders should consider as they plan for the next phases of infrastructure improvement:

  • Digital physical blur—Extending intelligence to the edge

  • From workforce to crowdsource—The rise of the borderless enterprise

  • Data supply chain—Putting information into circulation

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

  • The business of applications—Software as a core competency in a digital world

  • Architecting Resilience—“Built to survive failure” becomes the mantra of the nonstop business

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