February 02, 2015

Accenture Technology Vision 2015 Finds ‘Digital Ecosystems’ Re-Shaping Markets and Creating the “We Economy”

Annual technology forecast highlights 5 technology trends affecting tomorrow’s digital businesses

NEW YORK; Feb. 2, 2015 – In its annual outlook of global technology trends, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has identified a 180-degree shift to what it calls the “We Economy” that is re-shaping markets and changing the way we work and live. According to Accenture Technology Vision 2015, pioneering enterprises are tapping into a broad array of other digital businesses, digital customers and even digital devices at the edge of their networks to create new digital “ecosystems.”

These leading companies have already begun using technology to transform themselves into digital businesses and are now focusing on combining their industry expertise with the power of digital to reshape their markets. These businesses see great potential to make a difference – and a profit – by operating as ecosystems, not just as individual corporate entities, and driving the emergence of the “We Economy.”

This shift to the “We Economy” was confirmed in a related Accenture global survey of more than 2,000 IT and business executives, which found that four out of five respondents believe that in the future, industry boundaries will dramatically blur as platforms reshape industries into interconnected ecosystems. While 60 percent of those surveyed said they plan to engage new partners within their respective industries, 40 percent said they plan to leverage digital partners outside their industry and 48 percent said they plan to engage digital technology platform leaders.­­

“In last year’s Technology Vision report we noted how large enterprises were reasserting leadership in their markets by adopting digital to drive their processes more effectively and transform how they go to market, collaborate with partners, engage with customers and manage transactions,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture. “Now that digital has become part of the fabric of their operating DNA, they are stretching their boundaries to leverage a broader ecosystem of digital businesses as they shape the next generation of their products, services and business models to effect change on a much broader scale.”

The Accenture Technology Vision 2015 report offers examples of how, in the rapidly growing Industrial Internet of Things – i.e., the interconnection of embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure – companies are using digital ecosystems to offer new services, reshape experiences and enter new markets. This is supported by the Accenture survey, which found that 35 percent of respondents are already using partner APIs to integrate data and collaborate with business partners, with an additional 38 percent planning to do so. One example is Home Depot, which is working with manufacturers to ensure that all of the connected home products it sells are compatible with the Wink connected home system – thereby creating its own connected home ecosystem and developing potential new services and unique experiences for Wink customers.

Philips is taking a similar approach, teaming with Salesforce to build a platform to reshape and optimize the way healthcare is delivered. The envisioned platform will create an ecosystem of developers building healthcare applications to enable collaboration and workflow between doctors and patients across the entire spectrum of care. The ecosystem to achieve these improved outcomes is vast including electronic medical records as well as diagnostic and treatment information obtained through Philips’ imaging equipment, monitoring equipment, and personal devices and technologies.

Accenture Technology Vision 2015 notes that by tapping into digital ecosystems, Home Depot, Philips and other companies have the ability to grow and generate new sources of revenue in ways they could not achieve alone. The report also highlights five emerging technology trends that reflect the shifts being seen among the digital power brokers of tomorrow:

“Rather than simply focusing internally, on improving their own operations, successful companies are looking externally to create and become part of digital ecosystems,” said Daugherty. “They’re beginning to see the importance of selling not just products and services, but outcomes — and that requires weaving their businesses into the broader digital fabric that extends to customers, partners, employees and industries.”

For nearly 15 years, Accenture has taken a systematic look across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging IT trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and industries. For more information on this year’s report, visit www.accenture.com/technologyvision or follow the conversation on Twitter with #TechVision2015.

About the Methodology
Accenture’s Technology Vision is developed annually by the Accenture Technology Labs. For the 2015 report, the research process included gathering input from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group comprising more than two dozen executives and entrepreneurs from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capitalists and startup companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted nearly 100 interviews with technology luminaries, industry experts and Accenture business leaders. The team also tapped into the vast pool of knowledge and innovative ideas from professionals across Accenture, using Accenture’s collaboration technologies and a crowdsourcing approach to launch and run an online contest to uncover the most-interesting emerging technology themes. More than 1,700 Accenture professionals participated in the contest, contributing valuable ideas and voting on others’ input.

In parallel, Accenture Research conducted a global survey of 2,000 business and IT executives across nine countries and 10 industries to capture insights into the adoption of emerging technologies. The survey identified key issues and priorities for technology adoption and investment. Respondents were mostly C-level executives and directors, with some functional and line-of-business leads, at companies with annual revenues of at least US$500 million, with the majority of companies having annual revenues greater than US$6 billion.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 319,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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Hannah Unkefer
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