Can you afford to reject a million dollar opportunity? If not, you’d best engage with digital transformation. An Accenture report claims the use of digital technologies could add $1.36 trillion to the world’s top ten economies by 2020.
money, money, money
That’s the big take-away figure carried within Accenture’s Digital Density Index, which assesses a country’s digital density with a scorecard comprising over 50 indicators, such as the volume of transactions conducted online, the use of cloud or other technologies to streamline processes, the pervasiveness of technology skills in a company, or an economy’s acceptance of new digitally driven business models.
The report suggests a ten point improvement in digital density over five years would lift GDP growth rates in advanced economies by 0.25 percentage points, and by 0.5 percentage point in emerging economies. To put that percentage uptick into perspective, that would equate to an extra $57 billion into the economy in France or the UK, or $365 billion for the US.
How can these improvements be made? Bruno Berthon, managing director, Digital Strategy, Accenture Strategy notes: “Being digitally competitive means applying new technologies to a range of performance areas, from sourcing labor and automating processes to creating new goods and services. The Accenture Digital Density Index’s 50 indicators show that being digital cannot depend on a handful of well-intentioned but narrow initiatives. Improving digital competitiveness requires a broad, interrelated, program of actions by governments and businesses.”
Accenture’s report makes four recommendations that should benefit economies and help drive success for any enterprise, we’ve cited the relevant data below:
“making digital markets”:
Enterprises should look to offering digital products and services to their existing customers; should sell to new audiences and work with other enterprises. Governments must focus on consumer protection as traditional industry boundaries become less defined. They should do this in collaboration with business in order to both protect consumers and facilitate new growth, and the provision of skills.
“running enterprises digitally”:
There is a need for enterprise users to put digital at the heart of their strategy, applying these technologies to transform all elements of their process, from R&D to supply chain manangement and beyond. Cloud, analytics and CRM technologies all have a part to play. Digital should, “reinvent rather than simply automate key business processes to boost efficiency and productivity,” says Accenture.
Everything needs to be digital and this also includes key production factors such as land, capital, skills, plant and property. Getting the process of managing these factors digitized should improve productivity and cut costs. The Internet of Things will accelerate this process as objects connect with other objects and humans. This should optimize business processes and new products/services will evolve as a result.
Enterprise need to watch the policy and regulatory environment as well as infrastructure (such as mobile and broadband). Governments should streamline regulation and improve workforce skills to enable growth in this sector.
The clear case seems to be that it is utterly in the best interests of enterprise, government and nations to engage in the transformation, and in order to get it right all stakeholders need to ensure infrastructure is in place with which to support the changes which are taking place.
Jon Evans is highly experienced technology journalist and editor. He has been writing for a living since 1994. These days you might read his daily regular Computerworld AppleHolic and opinion columns. Jon is also technology editor for men’s interest magazine, Calibre Quarterly, and news editor for MacFormat magazine, which is the biggest UK Mac title. He's really interested in the impact of technology on the creative spark at the heart of the human experience. In 2010 he won an American Society of Business Publication Editors (Azbee) Award for his work at Computerworld.