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New Research from Accenture Gives Companies a Tool to Adopt Digital Technologies for Maximum Impact

New research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) gives clients a tool to help them derive maximum value from the adoption of digital technologies and power profitable growth.

The research – titled “Delivering Digital Dividends: How to Start Making Your Technology Investments Really Pay Off” – identifies the key external factors that organizations need to address to maximize gains from digital technologies they adopt.

The research builds on Accenture’s “Combine and Conquer” report from last year, which identified the best combinations of digital technologies to drive maximum business impact. “Combine and Conquer” calculated that companies that implemented those technologies effectively could boost their market capitalization by 28 percent, on average.

The goal of the new research, “Delivering Digital Dividends,” is to help clients realize such gains by becoming what Accenture refers to as “Industry X.0” businesses – organizations that combine digital technologies to drive exceptional efficiency gains; create new, hyper-personalized experiences; and enable new business models to drive both top- and bottom-line growth.

While “Delivering Digital Dividends” focuses initially on five technologies found to be widely relevant and applicable across industries – artificial intelligence (AI), augmented/virtual reality, big data, blockchain and robotics – it can be applied to a variety of other digital technologies, including mobile computing, 3D printing and digital twin, among others.

The research identifies five broad areas related to technology implementation, referred to as “value-triggers,” along with a series of sub-elements for each trigger. The five value-triggers are:

  • Value Potential. Focuses on the potential costs savings and gains in market cap value that the technology can deliver.
  • Talent Readiness. Looks at both the existing workforce – in terms of the availability of talent and skills required for development, integration and maintenance of the technology – as well as the current demand and supply for talent with the specific technology skillset.
  • Capital Adequacy. Considers the growth in venture capital investment, as well as the number of mergers and acquisitions related to the technology over the past three to five years.
  • Ecosystem Maturity. Analyzes the availability of widely accepted standards and protocols for the technology; efforts made to address interoperability challenges; the number of consortiums (academic and industry-specific) formed to advance the technology; and the number of start-ups focused on advancing the technology.
  • Adoption Intensity. Considers a variety of sub-elements: the number of use case applications built using the technology; the number of use cases that have made it to commercial deployment; the estimated growth in technology spend; the number of companies investing in and/or developing the technology or related offerings; and C-suite perception of the technology’s ability to improve efficiencies and deliver new experiences.

The value-triggers form the core of the Accenture Digital Dividends Diagnostic, a tool that measures the advancement of the technology against each of the value-trigger sub-elements on a scale of one to five; the smaller the number, the lower the advancement of that technology in the context of the particular sub-element of the value trigger. The value-trigger scores can be assessed for specific industries, enabling an enterprise to take necessary measures toward bridging value-gaps in the context of technologies adopted. For instance, a company adopting a technology with a low ‘Talent Readiness’ score can start investing to either build the necessary talent pool within its organization or tap ecosystems to acquire the talent.

“When investing in a new technology, businesses often focus inward within their enterprise and ignore external factors – such as the available talent pool or industry investment in the technology – that could help them decide if the implementation of the technology is viable or feasible within their organization,” said Raghav Narsalay, a managing director at Accenture Research, who led the Delivering Digital Dividends research. “The Digital Dividends Diagnostic we developed as part of our research takes the guesswork out of where the roadblocks to technology adoption might be and provides a clear understanding of what you will need to do to manage the implementation of the technology.”

The report notes that disregarding even a single value-trigger can be costly. For instance, the research found that companies that managed the ecosystem value-trigger particularly well – known as “ecosystem engagers” – achieved cost reductions per employee that were 2.4 percentage points greater, on average, than those of other companies. For the three years between 2013 and 2016, this translates to cost savings of US$844 million for the ecosystem engagers, on average.

“Given that nearly half of executives surveyed as part of last year’s ‘Combine and Conquer’ research cited an inability to combine rapidly evolving digital technologies as a key obstacle to successfully transforming their business, our new research should help ease their implementation concerns,” Narsalay said.

Aidan Quilligan, a managing director at Accenture and global lead of its Industry X.0 practice, said, “Executives don't have to understand all the ins and outs of a technology to get the most value from it, but they must understand the broader business landscape around the technology. While there are many excellent frameworks for assessing the internal digitization readiness of a company, until now you were on your own if you wanted to run an assessment of the external factors that might influence your digital transformation. Our Digital Dividends Diagnostic now makes this possible, providing a framework to help you get maximum value from digital technologies."

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 459,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

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