Tech-Led Turbulence: Accenture's Pulse of Change Index Places Technology at the Forefront

Generative AI advancements propel Technology to the top spot in global business disruption, but C-suite leaders express readiness concerns despite optimism.

Photo Credit : Accenture,

Accenture's Pulse of Change Index, 2024, revealed that global business leaders, already grappling with a historical rate of change in 2023, foresee an even faster pace in 2024. Released ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, the index analyses six key factors influencing change and business disruption.

An analysis of change affecting businesses globally, caused by six major factors:

  • Technology, which is based on indicators such as IT spending and VC funding on emerging technologies, reflects the pace and scale at which technologies, such as generative artificial intelligence, are adopted and implemented.
  • Talent, which includes indicators measuring the risk of labour shortages, level of employee engagement, wage costs, and labour productivity, reflects the overall talent environment from a quantitative and qualitative perspective.
  •  Economic, which includes macroeconomic, financial, and business indicators, reflects the overall economic disruption, financial volatility, and business outlook.
  •  Geopolitical, which includes indicators measuring geopolitical risk, the number of economic sanctions and the number of cyberattacks, reflects changes in war and conflicts, trade tensions and cybersecurity.
  •  Climate, which is based on indicators such as climate-related disasters and direct economic loss attributed to natural disasters, looks at the risks related to environmental issues as well as the financial cost implications of climate-related regulations for businesses.
  •  Consumer & Social, which includes indicators assessing social unrest and household savings, reflects the overall social climate as well as consumers’ confidence in the future.

Key Highlights of the Study

Generative AI propels technology disruption to the top spot, rising from sixth place in 2022. Globally, C-suite executives identify technology as the primary driver of change. While the index identifies talent as the second most significant factor for business change, C-suite leaders globally rank it fourth. However, 42% of global leaders cite skills shortages as a top-three challenge, emphasising the critical need for talent strategy. Overall, the rate of change across Technology, Talent, Economic, Geopolitical, Climate, and Consumer & Social factors has risen 183 per cent in the past four years, with a 33 per cent increase in the last year alone. In India, 89 per cent of leaders anticipate a faster rate of change in 2024. While 76 per cent view change as an opportunity, 48 per cent admit they are unprepared to respond to the upcoming changes. In India, 58 per cent of C-suite leaders expect an acceleration of technology disruption in 2024. Generative AI is seen as an opportunity, with 88 per cent viewing it positively. Globally, 47 per cent admit they are not fully prepared for the accelerating rate of technological change. Societal concerns about responsible AI use have led 72 per cent to approach investments more cautiously.

Sandeep Dutta, Senior Managing Director and Lead, India Business, Accenture, said, "To stay resilient, businesses in India need to embrace a bold vision and a comprehensive strategy of continuous reinvention, powered by cloud, data, and AI, along with new ways of working."

The Pulse of Change Index combines AI-led data modelling and a global survey of over 3,400 C-suite executives to gauge the rate and nature of change across six major factors. It analyses data series from leading institutions covering 2019 to November 2023. The index underscores the imperative for businesses, particularly in India, to adopt a vision of continuous reinvention powered by cloud, data, and AI. Navigating the evolving landscape and tapping into disruptive technologies, especially generative AI, will be crucial for maintaining agility and achieving new performance frontiers.


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