The Revolution Will Be Digitized

It’s apparent that business and technology are evolving at breakneck speed—and disruption is the new normal. As a result, the role of IT and the CIO is changing dramatically.

The Accenture 2016 Technology Vision Report offers some perspective on this trend. Among other things, it found that digital now dominates every sector. In fact, it comprised 22 percent of the world’s economy in 2015 and it is projected to hit 25 percent by 2020. By contrast, digital interactions and transactions made up about 15 percent of the world’s economy in 2005.

The report, which surveyed 3,100 business and IT executives worldwide, found that 86 percent of respondents anticipate that the pace of technology change will increase rapidly or at an unprecedented rate in their industry over the next three years.

What does all of this mean for CIOs? According to Accenture, there are four key pillars: Enterprises must be built for change, data-driven, accepting of disruption and digitally risk-aware. In fact, 37 percent of business and IT executives surveyed reported that the need to train their workforce is significantly more important today compared to three years ago.

On the front lines of business and IT, this means CIOs must focus on agile IT and DevOps. They must make data pervasive and available everywhere—and tie machines and AI into the equation. They must also build disruption into the enterprise DNA and recalibrate thinking and actions to support innovation and disruption. Finally, CIOs must focus on digital trust and security, which cannot be an afterthought.

Accenture recommends that business and IT leaders focus on five strategic tenants of digital:

*Intelligent automation, increasingly powered by artificial intelligence.

*A liquid workforce that relies on technology to enable the right people to do the right things in an adaptable and change-ready way.

*Technology-enabled, platform-driven ecosystems. Four out of five survey respondents agreed that platform-based business models will become part of their organization’s core growth strategy within three years.

*A need to cope with predictable and unabated disruption that will rumble through entire industries and economic segments, resulting in a need to redefine and reinvent business models.

*A rethinking of digital trust. This requires a re-examination of ethics, business and security systems, and customer interactions.

“Leveraging the power of a digital business is no longer simply about incorporating these technologies into the organization,” the report noted. “It’s about reinventing the organization—and the culture within it—to drive innovation, to drive change, to drive the business into the next generation.”

Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard writes about business, technology and other topics. His book, The Internet of Things (MIT Press) was released in the spring of 2015.

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