The report, “LeadersWanted: Masters of Change at a Moment of Truth,”outlines how leading enterprises are compressing a decade of digital transformation into one or two years. Relying on a strong digital core to adapt and innovate at lighting speed, leaders are growing revenues 5x faster than laggards today, versus only 2x faster between 2015 to 2018, according to Accenture research. The result is a wave of companies racing to reinvent themselves and use technology innovations to shape the new realities they face.
“The global pandemic pushed a giant fast forward button to the future. Many organisations stepped up to use technology in extraordinary ways to keep their businesses and communities running – at a pace they thought previously impossible – while others faced the stark reality of their shortcomings, lacking the digital foundation needed to rapidly pivot,” said Paul Daugherty, group chief executive – Technology and chief technology officer at Accenture. “We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn this moment of truth for technology into a moment of trust – embracing the power of exponential technology change to completely reimagine and rebuild the future of business and human experience.”
Accenture surveyed more than 6,200 business and technology leaders for the Technology Vision report, and 92% report that their organisation is innovating with an urgency and call to action this year. And 91% of executives agree capturing tomorrow’s market will require their organisation to define it.
Shaping the future will require companies to become masters of change by adhering to three key imperatives. First, leadership demands technology leadership. The era of the fast follower is over—perpetual change is permanent. Tomorrow’s leaders will be those that put technology at the forefront of their business strategy. Second, leaders won’t wait for a new normal, they’ll reinvent, building new realities using radically different mindsets and models. Finally, leaders will embrace a broader responsibility as global citizens, deliberately designing and applying technology to create positive impacts far beyond the enterprise to create a more sustainable and inclusive world.
The Technology Vision identifies five key trends that companies will need to address over the next three years to accelerate and master change in all parts of their business:
Prioritising technology innovation in response to a rapidly changing world has never been more important. Consider the restaurant industry: 60% of restaurants listed as ‘temporarily closed’ on Yelp in July were permanently out of business by September. Through the chaos, Starbucks emerged as a leader, using technology to expand customer and retail channels. By August, three million new users downloaded its app, and mobile ordering and drive-thru pick up accounted for 90 percent of sales. As demand surged, it deployed an integrated ticket management system to combine orders from its app, Uber Eats and drive-thru customers into a single workflow for baristas. Starbucks also introduced a new espresso machine with sensors to track how much coffee was being poured and predict necessary maintenance. This is a powerful illustration of technology as the core enabler of a company’s agile, resilient and successful response to change.