Are We Entering the Post-Digital Era?

We’re entering a new era: The “post-digital” era

Or at least that’s the findings in the latest edition of Accenture’s annual Technology Vision report. Looking across the next three years, it aims to predict the primary technology trends expected to impact businesses and makes some interesting predictions.

Although we’re still clearly in a digital era, Accenture posits the term “post-digital” as a means of embracing a reality many have come to accept: Digital technology is no longer a valuable addition to business; it’s a core element of remaining viable. Among the 6,600 executives surveyed by Accenture across the globe, 79 percent believe technologies such as mobile, analytics, social platforms, and cloud platforms are now essential elements of their businesses.

Accenture Technology Vision Report 2019

DARQ Technology

Accenture’s report outlined five emerging technology trends companies need to embrace to thrive in this changing landscape. The first is entitled DARQ technology, which includes (1) distributed ledgers, (2) artificial intelligence, (3) extended reality, and (4) quantum computing. These technologies, which are still developing yet hold tremendous potential, need to be in the minds of executives. Artificial intelligence ranked highest among survey respondents, with 41 percent stating it’s the most important of the DARQ technologies, a number twice as high as any other component.

Identifying Unmet Customer Needs

The one-size-fits-all approach to digital interaction is becoming obsolete, and companies need to ensure they’re providing unique experiences to customers in order to find unmet demands. Companies are able to gather more information about their customers, but they need to ensure they’re tailoring experiences based on this information. Executives already recognize this reality: 83 percent of those surveyed state that digital demographics offer new means of identifying market opportunities and offer yet-untapped potential.

“Human+” Workers

Accenture finds that 71 percent of executives believe their employees are more digitally mature than their organizations, showing significant optimism for embracing newer digital technology. The “human+” workforce will enable companies to tap into their employees’ tech talent, enabling new ways of thinking and creating more empowered employees who can leverage burgeoning technologies.

New Security Paradigms

Businesses run on ecosystems, but this complexity means potential security risks are far more prevalent than many previously understood. Of concern is Accenture’s finding that only 29 percent of executives claim to know that their ecosystem partners are working diligently toward compliance and resilience, potentially leaving dangerous security holes.

Momentary Markets

As technology enables and even mandates customized experiences, companies need to shift their view toward one where each interaction is treated as a momentary market. These individual, short-lived opportunities require ensuring the organization is able to function in an on-demand environment. Eighty-five percent of respondents claim that real-time delivery integrated with customized experiences is the next major wave of competitive advantage.

The report finds that the post-digital era requires tailoring experiences to offer the right products and services to the right customers at the right time, a feat that holds tremendous potential yet demands far greater flexibility and reliance on digital technology. Gone are the days when companies could invest in specific technology and expect a certain percentage increase in revenue: More radical change is needed to remain viable.