August 31, 2016

Accenture Technology Vision 2016 Identifies Five Trends Critical to Digital Success for U.S. Federal Agencies

A people first approach is key for agencies’ digital success

ARLINGTON, Va.; Aug. 31, 2016 – The digital revolution is dominating and transforming the work of the U.S. federal government, and those federal agencies that develop a people first approach will stand out in an increasingly digital world that is delivering bigger and better citizen experiences, according to research from Accenture Federal Services. The Accenture Technology Vision 2016 identifies five emerging technology trends – fueled by the people first approach – that are key to the federal government’s digital success.

The report highlights how leaders of companies and government agencies can often feel overwhelmed by the rate of technology change and experience a “digital culture shock” at the prospect of keeping pace in today’s digital economy. However, agencies using a people first approach can create new customer experiences that drive digital disruption.

“As technology advancements accelerate at an unprecedented rate, federal leaders who equip employees with the right skills can fully capitalize on digital innovations,” said Tom Greiner, who leads Accenture Federal Service’s Technology business. “Agencies that cultivate and empower a digital culture and talent will have unmatched capabilities to create fresh ideas, develop cutting-edge services for citizens and disrupt the status quo.”

The trends, fueled by the people first principle, that Accenture has identified as critical to the digital success of federal agencies include:

  1. Intelligent automation. Federal leaders are embracing intelligent automation — powered by technologies such as artificial intelligence, social, mobile, analytics and cloud or Internet of Things — to fundamentally change the way their agencies operate and drive a new, more productive relationship between citizens and machines. For example, as part of the U.S. Census Bureau five-year Digital Transformation Program, work has begun to set the stage for the first digital Census — including redesigning and deploying to a new modernized web platform, migrating and transforming the millions of existing assets and records, and leveraging modern digital analytics and dissemination capabilities.
  2. Liquid workforce. By capitalizing on technology to enable workforce transformation, leading agencies will create highly adaptable and change-ready environments that are able to meet today’s dynamic digital demands. Survey respondents underscored the importance of a liquid workforce by ranking qualities such as “the ability to quickly learn” and “the ability to shift gears” higher than “deep expertise for the specialized task at hand.” With the pending administration transition, building systems that can adapt to wholesale changes in the workforce will be key to helping ensure that citizen services are not disrupted.
  3. Platform economy. Business leaders are unleashing the power of technology by developing platform-based business models to capture new growth opportunities. These new models are driving the most profound change in the global macroeconomic environment since the Industrial Revolution, and 81 percent of survey respondents agreed that they will become part of their organization’s core growth strategy within three years. Leveraging disruptive, Cloud-based platforms, Accenture Federal Services is helping the Department of State modernize the Embassy of the Future by delivering a digitally powered, human-centric solution that engages State employees in a simple and personalized service model.
  4. Predictable disruption. Fast-emerging digital systems are creating the foundation for the next wave of enterprise disruption. Previous technology disruptions were often unpredictable, but federal agencies can now develop systems and anticipate the impact of those disruptions. As an example, in response to the growing number of people who use health wearables or add smartphone apps that help them track their health, policymakers at all levels of government are trying to figure out how to safeguard that data and ensure privacy. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is establishing a framework of best practices for the effective use of patient-generated health data (PGHD) in research and care delivery and to identify best practices, gaps and opportunities for the collection and use of PGHD.
  5. Digital Trust. Trust is a cornerstone of the digital economy, according to 83 percent of survey respondents. To gain the trust of citizens and regulators in this new landscape, federal agencies must focus on digital ethics as a core strategy; better security alone won’t be enough. For example, the Transportation Security Administration has created identity management and credentialing system processes to verify and manage millions of identities for those working at sensitive, secure areas throughout the U.S. transportation system.

“While technology is the driver, it is people who will transform federal agencies for the future,” Greiner said. “Federal agencies that embrace digital can empower their workforce to continuously learn new skills to do more with technology and generate bigger and better results that benefit citizens. We look forward to continuing to help federal agencies embrace digital.”

In response to the rapid pace of innovation, Accenture recently launched the Accenture Federal Services Digital Studio in Washington, D.C. The Digital Studio showcases Accenture Digital’s industry-leading capabilities, including Accenture Interactive, Accenture Analytics and Accenture Mobility, and it is being deployed to help Accenture’s federal clients better engage with the people that they employ, serve and protect. The Digital Studio will provide digital strategy, service and experience design, digital marketing and agile product-development capabilities.

Learn more about Accenture’s work with federal agencies and its global program Delivering Public Service for the Future.

Accenture Federal Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture LLP, is a U.S. company with offices in Arlington, Virginia. Accenture’s federal business has served every cabinet-level department and 30 of the largest federal organizations. Accenture Federal Services transforms bold ideas into breakthrough outcomes for clients at defense, intelligence, public safety, civilian and military health organizations.

About the Methodology
Accenture’s Technology Vision is developed annually by the Accenture Technology Labs. For the 2016 report, the research process included gathering input from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group comprising more than two dozen experienced individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted interviews with technology luminaries and industry experts, as well as with nearly 100 Accenture business leaders. In parallel, the survey helped identify the 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 leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 375,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at

# # #


Myra Oppel
+ 1 703 947 1268
+ 1 603 667 7746 (mobile)