Looking outside-in to drive strategic value with digital investments

A new data-driven model can help organizations adopt technologies wisely

Indian corporates are learning to allocate adequate time and resources to analyze the fit between digital technologies and their strategic business goals. However, understanding of external factors such as talent pools and ecosystems readiness for them to execute their digital plans is still developing. No wonder, while 82 percent of the 900 plus executives we surveyed as a part of our Industry X.0 research, see their digital investments aligned to strategic objectives, a mere 10 percent see themselves well-positioned at leveraging external ecosystems to achieve strategic digital goals. 

Till date, there wasn’t a tool to help companies systematically analyze the impact of external factors on the strategic business goals they wanted to achieve with digital technologies. 

Accenture has now built a diagnostic, companies can utilize to assess the maturity of digital technologies they are keen to adopt and align with strategic business goals.

This diagnostic consists of five elements: talent readiness, capital adequacy, ecosystem maturity, adoption intensity, and value potential. 

While talent readiness is about availability and accessibility of desired skills to drive value with the technology, capital adequacy considers the quantum of capital being injected by venture capitalists and corporations on building the technology and its applications. Ecosystem maturity analyzes the availability of standards and protocols for the technology; the number of consortiums formed, and the startup presence. Adoption intensity considers the number of technology use cases in the market built and scaled commercially and the quality and quantum of spending happening to deploy technology or related offerings. Most importantly, it analyses the C-suite perception of the technology’s ability to improve efficiencies and deliver new experiences. Lastly, value potential focuses on the potential costs savings and gains in market cap value that the technology to be adopted, can deliver.

If, for example, a technology scores somewhat lower on “Talent Availability” and “Enterprise Adoption” for an industry, then a company could interpret this as a signal to push ahead while making plans for how to manage both challenges, to secure a competitive edge; say by “engaging the ecosystem” for some help. Or it might decide on an equally viable strategy to postpone investments in the new technology and to wait until the technology market becomes more mature.

Below is a high-level, cross-industry assessment of five digital technologies leveraging our diagnostic.

  • Big Data Analytics: high maturity: Big Data Analytics benefits from a very robust ecosystem. It tops the charts in terms of governing standards, number of startups as well as levels of interoperability.
    • Artificial Intelligence: quickly becoming mainstream: AI has tremendous potential, considerably leading the pack both in terms of start-up and VC investment. 
      • Blockchain: huge potential: Blockchain promises significant cost savings and top-line growth. Yet, perception within the C-suite on its performance remains mixed. However, this hasn’t dampened growth in enterprise spend on the technology and its applications.
        • Immersive Experiences (AR/VR/MR): better than its current reputation: Immersive experience technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) may be the most underrated among the bunch. Even though they boast the highest potential value, they fall far behind regarding investments, skilled talent, governing standards, and interoperability.
          • Robotics: very mature and improving: Leading the pack in terms of capital adequacy, robotics is a highly mature technology with proven industrial applications. While robotics is primarily regarded as a technology that can only deliver efficiency gains, it still enjoys high levels of enterprise adoption and commercial deployment, especially in combination with other technologies, like AI.

“Look before you Leap” is an adage which cautions us to be careful before we step onto any journey. 

Before embarking on a digital journey, it’s best for corporations to “Diagnose before (they) Digest” technologies. Failure to do so will prevent organizations from absorbing technologies being ingested causing digital fatigue and frustration. 


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