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Why public retirement systems need a digital mindset

Putting technology trends to work for pension transformation.

Overview

Technology is a driver of the transformation of public pension systems. But as public retirement systems face myriad forces influencing reform—from changing demographics to shortfalls in retirement funding—what technologies are most relevant? And how can pension systems harness them for strong outcomes?

Published every year, the Accenture Technology Vision 2013 answers questions like these. This year’s report is not about hot, yet unattainable new trends. Instead, it is both a vision for the future as well as a practical guide to putting technology to work in delivering business outcomes. This pragmatic approach is particularly relevant for government organizations, including public retirement systems, facing the pressure to shift from the status quo to deliver public service for the future.

Download PDFDownload the PDF to see the five technologies to act on today to drive business outcomes.[PDF 365 KB]

Background

Accenture believes that technology has now become so intertwined with every aspect of the business that it is fast becoming a primary driver of market differentiation, business growth and profitability in public and private sectors.

Consequently, understanding technology change and how it impacts business has become vital. To help achieve this understanding, Accenture publishes its Technology Vision annually. The 2013 Technology Vision is based on the contention that, today, every business is a “digital business.” One of the report’s key themes is the imperative for every organization—commercial or government—to function like a “digital business”. This means elevating IT as a strategic asset that can transform performance, rather than viewing it as only an enabler of strategy.

This insight signals a major transformational shift not just in the role of technology but also in the very business models that underpin success. In many ways, this Technology Vision is a forecast not only for technology but for business as a whole.

Download PDFDownload the PDF to learn how the Technology vision applies to the pensions landscape.[PDF 365 KB]

Analysis

Cutting through the complexity of today’s technology landscape, pension agencies can put five technologies to work to help drive and sustain an effective transformation agenda.

  1. Relationships at scale: Move beyond transactions to digital relationships
    In the digital era, organizations can connect with every member in relevant ways using the latest digital technologies. The result? Greater efficiency in meeting customer needs at the lowest service delivery cost—and an important shift from standardized to personalized services key for public service for the future.

  2. Design for analytics: Formulate the questions, and design for the answers
    Analytics has the power to transform the impact of public retirement organizations on the employers and employees they serve. However, analytics is only as good as the data collected, the insights that can be drawn and the action taken on the results. The right data will rarely fall into the process by luck alone. So pension organizations need to design for analytics from the start.

  1. Seamless collaboration: Right channel, right worker, right job
    The convergence of social institutions is more than a trend, it is a necessity. Public retirement systems understand that holistic member views require internal collaboration and external inputs. It’s about furthering seamless collaboration within an organization and across its external boundaries to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

  2. Active defense: Adapting cyberdefenses to the threat
    The disruption of public pension benefits, which are worth billions of dollars each month, could be catastrophic to individuals and to the economy a whole. The only logical response to such constantly evolving cyber threats is an active defense—dynamic, reflex-like and highly responsive to threats.

  3. Beyond the cloud: The value lies in putting the cloud to work
    Public retirement systems will shift to a hybrid cloud approach—one that reflects the inherent public cloud concerns of government data but also routinely integrates appropriate cloud applications within their IT estate.

Download PDFDownload the PDF to learn about pension organizations acting on these trends today.[PDF 365 KB]

Recommendations

Emerging technologies are exciting—but often elusive in the public sector. Sometimes just as agencies pursue a new technology, the “next best thing” has arrived. The good news is that these recent trends are accessible and available. Forward-thinking pension organizations can put them to work in a time- and cost-effective manner—impacting business outcomes and the transformation agenda.

Download PDFDownload the full report.[PDF 365 KB]