7 key technology trends according to Accenture
MANILA, Philippines - "Every business is a digital business" -- this is at the core of Accenture's Technology Vision 2013 report.
Accenture says companies that adopt available technologies to "go digital" will be better positioned to take advantage of business opportunities and to get a lead on the competition.
The Accenture Technology Vision 2013 identified the major technology trends that will affect companies. Since technology has become the core of every aspect of a business, Accenture believes that all senior leaders must be able to understand, embrace and drive value from new technologies that affect their organization.
"Organizations and their leaders need to hit the reset button on how they use technology to drive market differentiation, deepen customer relationships, and deliver growth and profitability," said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology officer.
"Our latest Technology Vision report finds that the technology for accomplishing these business goals is available today, but that adopting a new digital mindset is required to harness the potential. The power and reach of converging IT trends such as mobility and cloud means that business leaders need to understand the implications of a software-driven, ‘connected everything’ world," he added.
The seven key trends identified in the Accenture Technology Vision 2013 report looks at the future of enterprise IT and makes recommendations for how companies can take advantage of technology and software to improve their competitiveness, operations and business results.
1. Leverage technology to create digital relationships at scale:
Accenture noted that most organizations do not take advantage of technology to build deeper relationships with their customers and increase their loyalty. Many companies have lost "customer intimacy" with the rise of mobile computing and social networks.
"Effectively developing meaningful relationships at scale requires a real change in how companies approach these strategies and implement a new unified approach across IT and the business," Daugherty said.
2. Design for analytics to get the "right" data:
Accenture noted many of today's enterprise software applications are designed for a specific function and capture only the data for that function. As a result, there are information gaps because important questions weren't asked when the applications were formulated.
Companies need to adopt a strategy that requires asking the questions that need to be answered first and then designing the application for the "right data". Companies that recognize this and make data a strategic asset that drives business outcomes will have an edge over those that view data merely as an output.
3. Take advantage of data "velocity":
Accenture said companies should also consider data velocity, as mobility and consumerization of IT are pushing demand for faster access to data. New technologies such as high-speed data storage, in-memory computing, analytics advances, data visualization and streaming data querying, is helping accelerate the process of "data to insight" and converting insight to action.
4. Make work and processes more social:
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as video tools like Skype and Google +, have changed the way users communicate with one another. Companies can take advantage of their employees' growing comfort with social networks to gain a new level of productivity. "It’s the work and processes that need to be more social," Accenture said.
5. Bridge the last mile of virtualization with software-defined networking:
How to control the flow of information in today's digital business is a challenge. Software-defined networking (SDN), where the network is managed through software instead of through hardware, provides a giant leap forward in enterprise flexibility. This helps companies reconfigure the connectivity of systems without changing the physical characteristics, making it easier to manage change, integrate cloud services and get more return from their network investments.
6. Be active — not just defensive — with security:
Safeguarding the digital business remains a challenge for companies. IT’s core challenge is to not only stay current with the latest security features, but to get smarter about understanding and engaging the enemy and be able to adapt the enterprise’s defenses to match the threat. Security architectures need to remain flexible and incorporate “active” defenses to deal with the constantly changing field of security threats.
7. The cloud is here - now is the time to prepare the enterprise:
For companies, the question isn't "why should we use the cloud," it's "how should we use cloud?” Many organizations are already embedding cloud with their legacy systems and traditional software to create “hybrid” environments. This requires a clear understanding of, and approach to, the skills, architecture, governance and security required, whether it’s the applications, platforms or IT infrastructure that’s in the cloud.
"The challenge for businesses in today’s digital landscape is to reimagine themselves in the context of an increasingly software-driven world. To succeed, organizations must leverage IT innovations to derive insights that enable them to optimize their enterprise, take advantage of emerging opportunities, strengthen customer loyalty, and deliver better business outcomes," Daugherty said.