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From Tech-Clash To Trust, The Focus Must Be On People – Accenture Report

The majority (76 per cent) of executives believe organisations need to dramatically reengineer the experiences that bring technology and people together in a more human-centric manner, according to a new technology report from Accenture.

Coming on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, We, The Post-Digital People: Can your enterprise survive the ‘tech-clash?,” outlines how - to compete and succeed in a world where digital is everywhere - companies need a new focus on balancing “value” with “values,” aligning their drive to create business value with their customers’ and employees’ values and expectations.

With more than 6,000 business and IT executives surveyed worldwide, more than four in five (83 per cent) executives acknowledge technology has become an inextricable part of the human experience.

“Due to the significant benefits of technology, organisations in New Zealand and across the world have been keen adopters of digital products and services that solve for business problems, but this adoption hasn’t always taken into account all the factors that impact humans, organisations and society,” said Paul Hearnden, Accenture New Zealand Technology Lead.

“Coming on the back of the COVID-19 crisis, millions of people are now relying on technology to work virtually or sell their products and services online. As organisations continue to adapt to this new reality we will see a heightened tech-clash caused by the tension between consumer expectations, the potential of technology, and business ambitions. We are now at an important leadership inflection point - and must shift our mindset from ‘just because’ to ‘trust because’ — reexamining our fundamental business and technology models and creating a new basis for business resiliency and growth.”

The Report identifies five key trends that companies must address to defuse tech-clash and realise new forms of business value that will be driven in part by stronger, more trusting relationships with stakeholders:

  • The I in Experience. Organisations will need to design personalized experiences that amplify an individual’s agency and choice. This turns passive audiences into active participants by transforming one-way experiences — which can leave people feeling out of control and out of the loop — into true collaborations. Five in six business and IT executives surveyed (85%) believe that competing successfully in this new decade requires organisations to elevate their relationships with customers as partners.
  • AI and Me. Artificial intelligence (AI) should be an additive contributor to how people perform their work, rather than a backstop for automation. As AI capabilities grow, enterprises must rethink the work they do to make AI a generative part of the process, with trust and transparency at its core. Currently, only 37% of organisations report using inclusive design or human-centric design principles to support human-machine collaboration.
  • The Dilemma of Smart Things. Assumptions about who owns a product are being challenged in a world entering a state of “forever beta.” As enterprises seek to introduce a new generation of products driven by digital experiences, addressing this new reality will be critical to success. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of executives report that their organisation’s connected products and services will have more, or significantly more, updates over the next three years.
  • Robots in the Wild. Robotics are no longer contained to the warehouse or factory floor. With 5G poised to rapidly accelerate this fast-growing trend, every enterprise must re-think its future through the lens of robotics. Executives are split in their views of how their employees will embrace robotics: 45% say their employees will be challenged to figure out how to work with robots, while 55% believe that their employees will easily figure out how to work with them.
  • Innovation DNA. Enterprises have access to an unprecedented amount of disruptive technology, such as distributed ledgers, AI, extended reality and quantum computing. To manage it all — and evolve at the speed demanded by the market today — organisations will need to establish their own unique innovation DNA. Three-quarters (76%) of executives believe that the stakes for innovation have never been higher, so getting it “right” will require new ways of innovating with ecosystem partners and third-party organisations.

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