Digital Technologies Implemented Together Have Greater Potential to Transform Businesses, Finds New Accenture Study
Mobility Proves Enabler of the Digital Business as Analytics and Cloud become Highest Priorities
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona; March 2, 2015 – Large enterprises have clear expectations of digital technologies – including interactive marketing, analytics, mobility and cloud – and their potential for business transformation, according to a new survey commissioned by Accenture (NYSE: ACN). In ‘Growing the Digital Business: Accenture Mobility Research 2015’, an overwhelming ninety percent of respondents in 15 countries agreed they had clear expectations of digital technologies. Improved focus on customers, channels and markets and driving business growth were seen as the core benefits. Seven out of 10 respondents said that digital technologies have greater potential for transformation when implemented together, rather than in isolation or one at a time.
The study, which surveyed nearly 2,000 senior decision makers in large enterprises, explored how these businesses recognize multiple ways that combinations of digital technologies could benefit their companies. It delved into priorities for the coming year, as well as challenges faced today as enterprises embark or continue along their digital transformation journeys.
When asked to select which benefits are being realized today or were expected from implementations combining digital technologies, respondents selected an average of four, demonstrating the wide potential of digital. The highest ranking benefits included:
- Creation of new revenue opportunities (48 percent)
- Faster time to market for product / services (46 percent)
- Increased customer engagement (46 percent)
- Enabling of rapid responses to customer demands (45 percent)
- Enabling penetration of new markets (45 percent)
Eighty percent of respondents to the survey were confident that their enterprise had one holistic strategy for becoming a digital business, and the same percentage indicated that the role of a Chief Digital Officer exists in their organization. But 81 percent confirmed having separate teams owning different parts of digital strategy within each function, rather than across the enterprise. It’s clear that enterprises are embracing digital technologies, but most organizations do not yet have a centralized team fully owning strategy, budget and implementation of digital technologies.
“The benefits of digital technology are not just being talked about anymore, but are being put into action as organizations are reshaping themselves to take advantage,” said Jim Bailey, global managing director, Accenture Mobility. “A vast majority of respondents (87 percent) said their business had made significant in-roads in using digital technologies over the past year – to grow their customer base and/or to enhance their overall enterprise efficiency – but acknowledged there is still some way to go. The survey results do suggest some clarity is needed regarding responsibility for strategy definition and digital decision-making, as we saw overall control of both shared between central teams and individual business functions.”
Mobility Fueling the Digital Surge
When asked which of the digital technologies they had already successfully adopted, mobility ranked highest at 65 percent, a reflection of the fact it has been implemented as a priority for some time. Since the Mobility Insights Report 2014, there has been a shift in priorities around digital technologies. Where mobility was a top two priority for 43 percent of respondents to that survey, this year, mobility was the most critical digital technology for 18 percent. In the 2015 Global Mobility Study, analytics – last year a top two priority for 27 percent – was selected as the most critical priority for 34 percent of respondents, with cloud following closely at 30 percent. This demonstrates that – as asserted in last year’s report – mobility has been fueling the digital surge, and now that enterprises have successfully employed it, they are prioritizing the implementation of other digital technologies to achieve the strongest possible results for their customers and for their enterprises.
“The fact that analytics is such a priority for survey respondents reflects the understanding that digital businesses rely on data for generating insights and informing decision making across all business functions,” continued Bailey. “The use of data in this way can bring businesses closer to their customers – whether consumers or other enterprises – and enable better targeted offerings for a more loyal customer base. In addition, cloud ranking as the second highest priority supports the notion that data should be collectible and accessible from anywhere, through the use of mobility tools.”
Security is the Greatest Challenge
Security concerns were cited by over half (51%) of the survey’s respondents as one of the most important challenges in digital technology implementations, and by a quarter as the biggest challenge faced by enterprises overall.
“Constant developments in technology mean new challenges arise all the time around how to optimize a connected workforce or manage consumer campaigns across omni-channel platforms,” said Bailey. “Enterprises must therefore not only focus on implementing the new technologies, but on keeping ones already in place fit for purpose. To overcome the challenges of security, enterprises need to view digital technologies holistically, treating them as an extension of wider enterprise security on an ongoing basis.”
About the Study
The study is based on a combination of online and telephone interviews, conducted in December 2014 and January 2015, with 1,925 senior decision-makers for digital strategy and technologies. Participating companies represented 15 countries and nine industries, and over 85 percent had revenues of more than $1 billion.
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.
Accenture Digital, comprised of Accenture Analytics, Accenture Interactive and Accenture Mobility, offers a comprehensive portfolio of business and technology services across digital marketing, mobility and analytics. From developing digital strategies to implementing digital technologies and running digital processes on their behalf, Accenture Digital helps clients leverage connected and mobile devices; extract insights from data using analytics; and enrich end-customer experiences and interactions, delivering tangible results from the virtual world and driving growth. Learn more about Accenture Digital at www.accenture.com/digital.
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