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Accenture: People first approach key to success in the digital economy

Jan 28
Tags: Accenture
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Accenture: People first approach key to success in the digital...

Despite the growing importance of technology and digital infrastructure in our 21st-century economy, it is the businesses with a strong focus on people that are the most likely to succeed, according to Accenture.

In its latest global technology trends report, the consulting firm noted that tech advancements are accelerating at an "unprecedented rate", which is having potentially severe disruptive effects on workforces.

It said businesses that are able to equip their employees, partners and consumers with new skills can reap the full benefit of the latest innovations, coming up with fresh ideas, products and services.

The Accenture Technology Vision 2016 report identified a number of technology trends perceived as "essential" to business success in the digital economy.

Among them is 'intelligent automation' - the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and augmented reality to fundamentally alter how an organisation operates, laying the foundation for a new relationship between people and machines.

Seven out of ten respondents to the survey acknowledged an increase in AI-related tech investments, compared with two years ago.

Another important concept is the platform economy, which is characterised by industry leaders utilising the potential of technology to develop platform-based business models in order to capture new opportunities for growth.

Four out of five survey respondents (81 per cent) said this strategy will be a part of their organisation's core growth plan within three years.

Other findings from the study of 3,100 business and IT executives indicated that 33 per cent of the global economy is already impacted by digital.

A substantial majority (86 per cent) of those taking part in the poll said the pace of technological change will accelerate at a rapid or unprecedented rate in the next three years.

Paul Daugherty, Accenture's chief technology officer, said: "Digital means people too and a cornerstone of this year's vision is people first.

"Companies that embrace digital can empower their workforce to continuously learn new skills to do more with technology and generate bigger and better business results."

Can digital infrastructure match growth ambitions?

There is no doubt that many businesses have big ambitions when it comes to achieving growth through digital channels, but one question that has not yet been answered is whether Britain has the necessary infrastructure and strategy to accommodate these plans.

Earlier this month, on the closing day of the government's consultation on future digital strategy, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) published a letter demanding significant improvements in digital and mobile connectivity for UK businesses.

The letter was signed by the leaders of every accredited regional chamber of commerce in the UK.

Addressed to the culture secretary, John Whittingdale, the document called on the government to "match the scope and ambition of other countries" and provide a "solid foundation for future business growth".

It warned that insufficient action was impeding progress in a number of key areas, including mobile coverage, supplier competition and broadband speeds.

The BCC said ongoing infrastructure improvements are essential if UK firms are to maintain their track record of being "global innovators and leaders" in the digital world.

John Longworth, director-general of the group, pointed out that Britain may "lead the world in ecommerce", but many offices, business parks and transport routes are sorely lacking when it comes to

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