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India's Path to Digitalization

Read Accenture's report to explore the three-step approach Indian companies can take to transition into truly digitalized powerhouses.


Digitalization is different from digitization. Through digitalization, a company’s digitized resources (such as online channels, machines equipped with digital sensors, cloud-based software) are transformed into new sources of revenue and operational gains.

Our survey of more than 100 large companies, aimed at understanding the intent, interest and intensity within corporations to embrace digitalization, revealed heightened interest within businesses about digital technologies and digitalization. On average, three out of every four C-suite respondents to our survey are already aware and checking out on next-generation digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, mobile robots and 3D printing.

For such companies, the domestic market will unfold substantive opportunities to experiment and succeed. Government initiatives such as ”Make in India” (in the area of manufacturing), ”Jan Dhan Yojana” (aimed at financial inclusion), Smart Cities (in the infrastructure space) will be opening large markets for companies to launch new-to-the market scalable digital offerings in partnerships with governments, startups and other key players in the digital ecosystem. Moreover, rapidly expanding pool of a digitally-engageable consumers and talent will help companies firmly anchor their digitalization efforts in the Indian marketplace.


Key Insights

The time is right for Indian companies to pursue digitalization. In the next few years, various components of the digital ecosystem in India—including the digitized consumer, generation of digital data volumes, e-commerce and tech-savvy talent pools—are expected to mature.

But, according to the results of Accenture’s survey of over 100 senior executives, a large number of businesses are missing out on the true transformative forms of value that digital technologies can deliver:

  • Awareness not preparation
    Among the executives surveyed there is very high levels of awareness amongst executives on digital technologies of the present and future (such as Internet of Things). They also agree that digitalization is a strategic growth imperative. But, many are far from prepared to meet it from a position of strength.

  • Gains vs Investment
    Many believe that high costs are preventing them from taking full advantage of digital technologies. Moreover, a large number are seeing the gains they’ve made from digital adoption hit a plateau.

  • Current vs future gains
    To avoid missing the “digital bus,” numerous companies have rushed to adopt digital technologies such as social media and cloud technologies without appropriately aligning it to their broader business goals. Focused on earning quick returns on such digital investments, businesses are working to pluck “low-hanging fruit” such as process efficiencies and productivity gains. As a result, many have missed out on adopting a planned induction of digital technologies towards developing new-to-market offerings— the true value inherent in digitalization. They have therefore put their current and future digital gains at risk.

Clearly, while interest and intent within companies to embrace digitalization is high, they need to be better prepared to translate the same into a driver of profitable growth.


To help companies embrace digitalization systematically, we have defined a framework for achieving efficient as well as profitable digitalization.

In this report, we recommend a three-step approach focused on creating awareness and confidence around digitalization’s benefits within the business; developing a digitalization roadmap; and building a business model for digitalization supported by the right capabilities and culture.

The three steps include:

  • Create awareness and ownership around digitalization: Help people throughout the organization understand what digitalization is and what advantages it offers, and foster a sense of ownership around digitalization at the highest level.

  • Design a digitalization roadmap: Putting customers at the center of the roadmap, design a digital business value tree and a digital operating model mapping the technology and skills required to harness the true power of digital assets.

  • Digitalize business model: Make the right choices about your customer value proposition, resources, profit formula and performance metrics and nurture the capabilities and culture needed to support your business model.

We believe that by mastering this three-step process, companies based in India can accelerate their transition into becoming truly digitalized powerhouses capable of profiting from such material opportunities the nation has to offer.


To understand the intent, interest and intensity within companies based in India towards digitalization, we embarked on a detailed survey and in-depth interview-based research. We had conversations with more than 100 C-suite executives across large, medium and small companies in a diverse array of sectors.

This report draws on several research components. First, Accenture conducted an extensive review of existing literature, to discover what issues are most pressing for India-based companies attempting to digitalize.

The survey of secondary research revealed a clear deficit of insights relevant to understanding various dimensions of digitalization within Indian industry.

To address such deficit Accenture conducted discussions with 110 C-suite executives across the industry.

The face-to-face interviews and survey covered five relevant aspects of digitalization. The experience of companies towards deploying SMAC technologies was utilized as a proxy to capture their digitalization experience.

For further insights read:

About the Institute for High Performance

Accenture Institute for High Performance develops and publishes practical insights into critical management issues and global economic trends. Its worldwide team of researchers connects with Accenture's business leaders to demonstrate how organizations become and remain high performers through original, rigorous research and analysis.


Raghav Narsalay
Managing Director of Innovation Research as well as for India and China Research


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