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Rapidly Advancing Technology Fueling Intelligent Enterprise

Rapidly Advancing Technology is Fueling Intelligent Enterprises but Requires a Fundamental Shift, According to Accenture Technology Vision 2018


AUCKLAND; Feb. 20, 2018 – Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies are accelerating the creation of intelligent enterprises and enabling companies to integrate themselves into people’s lives, according to Accenture Technology Vision 2018, the annual technology report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN), that predicts key technology trends likely to disrupt business over the next three years.

This year’s report, “Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed: Redefine Your Company Based on the Company You Keep,” highlights how rapid advancements in technologies — including artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and the cloud — are enabling companies to not just create innovative products and services, but change the way people work and live. This, in turn, is changing companies’ relationships with their customers and business partners.

As part of the Technology Vision, Accenture surveyed more than 6,300 business and IT executives worldwide. More than four in five respondents (84 per cent) agree that through technology, companies are weaving themselves seamlessly into the fabric of how people live today. In fact 4 out of 5 executives surveyed (81 per cent) agree that within the next two years, AI will work next to humans in their organisations, as a co-worker, collaborator and trusted advisor.

For example, The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is using AI to transform the government’s approach to public service delivery through its Service Integration Work Program (LabPlus). Through the program, citizens receive a personalised service and can initiate transactions – such as renewing their driver’s license to enrolling in tertiary education - with businesses and government more effectively.

“Technology is now firmly embedded throughout our everyday lives and is reshaping large parts of society,” said Mary-Anne McCarthy, Accenture New Zealand Technology Lead. “Leveraging the rapid advancements in technology such as blockchain and artificial intelligence to create increasingly innovative products and services, businesses are driving unprecedented changes in the way people live and work.”

The report notes that this latest technological transformation is unique in that for the first time the change is a two-way street; people aren’t just using companies’ products and services, but feeding information and access back to them.

Savvy organisations understand that these new societal expectations can be transformed into an enterprise strength. They’re using their increased interactions to build partnerships with customers, employees, government and the public. And this extends beyond the consumer or retail arena.

Air New Zealand, for instance, is looking at blockchain technology to connect its suppliers and sellers in the travel industry, through a single marketplace. Resulting in improved customer experience, streamlining of products and reduced costs for customers and the airline.


The Technology Vision identifies five technology trends that companies must address if they are to build the partnerships needed to succeed in today’s digital economy:

Citizen AI: Raising AI to Benefit Business and Society. As artificial intelligence (AI) grows in its capabilities, so does its impact on people’s lives. Businesses looking to capitalise on AI’s potential must acknowledge this impact, “raising” AI to act as responsible representatives of their business. Outlined by the 72 per cent of executives who reported that their organisations seek to gain customer trust and confidence by being transparent in their AI-based decisions and actions.

Extended Reality (XR): The End of Distance. Virtual and augmented reality technologies are transforming the ways people live and work by removing the distance to people, information and experiences. In fact 80 per cent of executives believe it will be important to leverage XR solutions to close the gap of physical distance when engaging with employees and customers.

Data Veracity: The Importance of Trust. By transforming themselves to run on data, businesses now face a new kind of vulnerability: inaccurate, manipulated and biased data that leads to corrupted business insights and skewed decisions. To address this challenge, companies must follow a dual mandate to maximise veracity and minimise incentives for data manipulation.

Frictionless Business: Built to Partner at Scale. Businesses depend on technology-based partnerships for growth, but their own legacy systems aren’t designed to support partnerships at scale. With 36 per cent of businesses reporting that they work with double or more partners than they were two years ago. But to fully power the connected Intelligent Enterprise, companies must first re-design themselves.

Internet of Thinking: Creating Intelligent Distributed Systems. Businesses are making big bets on intelligent environments via robotics, AI and immersive experiences, but bringing these intelligent environments to life will require not only adding key skills and workforce capabilities, but 63 per cent of respondents also believe it will be crucial to modernise current enterprise technology infrastructures including customer hardware.

To drive AI, robotics, and other revolutionary technologies to their full potential, companies must form new partnerships and make a significant effort across key areas of business processes and strategy, from service design, to infrastructure transformation and hardware considerations. The well-earned result will be truly intelligent environments that meet people where they are,” McCarthy said.

For nearly 18 years, Accenture has taken a systematic look across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging technology trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and industries. For more information on this year’s report, visit www.accenture.com/technologyvision or follow the conversation on Twitter with #TechVision2018.

About the Methodology
The Accenture Technology Vision is developed annually by the Accenture Labs and Accenture Research. For the 2018 report, the research process included gathering input from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group comprising more than two dozen experienced individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted interviews with technology luminaries and industry experts, as well as with nearly 100 Accenture business leaders. In parallel, Accenture Research conducted a global online survey of more than 6,300 business and IT executives across 25 countries and 18 industries to capture insights into the adoption of emerging technologies. The survey helped identify the key issues and priorities for technology adoption and investment. Respondents were mostly C-level executives and directors, with some functional and line-of-business leads, at companies with annual revenues of at least US$500 million, with most having annual revenues greater than US$6 billion.

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 specialised 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 more than 435,000 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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