Accenture captured insights from business and IT executives to identify five emerging trends people will apply to disrupt business in the next three years.
When done right, technology – and the companies that develop it – becomes woven into the digital social fabric. However, as we continue on this digital transformation, it’s time that technology is used to make a difference on a much bigger scale.
When I watch the way my children interact with technology and I think back to my own childhood, it’s almost hard to believe the pace of change. From the Internet to the advent of smartphones, gaming stations to home voice assistants, the last decades have seen lifestyles transformed as people adapted to each new technology capability.
I remember watching the early days of Star Trek in the 1970s and being fascinated by the character Dr. “Bones” McCoy, the captain’s chief medical officer. I would marvel at some of his genius medical equipment, the little hand-held medical scanner in particular, that he would carry around and use to diagnose a patient instantly.
Fast forward to more recent years and this fictional miracle is no longer confined to the walls of an imaginary space exploration vessel – it has in fact disrupted our own reality.
In Sweden, scientists have created an app that can test for potentially blinding deteriorations in the eye. Here in the UK, start-up Babylon has built a ‘digital doctor’ using artificial intelligence. It offers patients free and instant consultations via their mobile device.
We are seeing companies deploy technology in order to put an individual’s health at the centre of their focus. When you think about how that changes the world, it is breathtaking. And it is shaping every aspect of business and society.
Take inclusive education for example. Many organisations are piloting programmes using hardened tablets solutions.
The aim is to allow children in impoverished communities to be trained in reading, writing, basic mathematics and in even coding.
Technology gives us the power to take the classroom and conveniently place it at the fingertips of the student.
Above all, it is human-centric and it drives goals both at a global development level and at the level of individuals.
This is the overarching finding in Accenture’s Technology Vision 2017, launched today, which forecasts a future of technology for people, by people.
This new approach will unleash an era of invention and human amplification that will result in unimagined levels of creativity, ingenuity and productivity for humanity.
To support these findings Accenture conducted a global survey of more than 5,400 business and IT executives across 31 countries. Accenture captured insights and identified the five emerging trends that people will apply to disrupt business over the next three years.
AI is the New YOU-I
The report revealed that 2017 will be coming of age for artificial intelligence’s (AI) maturity. AI accomplishes tasks and guides actions towards the best outcome, effectively helping people tackle problems in simpler, more convenient, and smarter ways.
Ecosystems as Macrocosms
Businesses are increasingly integrating their core business functions with third parties and their platforms to deliver more compelling services. Uber and Airbnb are perfect examples, having completely broken the rules for how companies operate and compete.
Technology is encouraging businesses to dissolve traditional hierarchies and completely reinvent their workforces. Employee structures are being upgraded to platforms that give people opportunities to work on-demand.
Design for humans
Instead of people having to learn technology, we are teaching technologies to be adaptive, responsive and aligned to goals that enhance our lives. Combining rich data from IoT with artificial intelligence means human capabilities will be augmented – enabling people to achieve more.
Traditional rules and standards of the digital game no longer apply. Companies are no longer just creating products and services, they’re shaping our digital industries.
These themes represent the newest expression of Accenture’s people first view of the new digital landscape. Our world in a state of change and technology is embedded in that change at every level – but we are in the driving seat. While we have spent generations adapting to the technology around us, it’s technology’s turn to evolve around us and how we need it to function.
We have the powerful means to build a much more equitable economic democracy—a democracy of opportunity.
About the author
Emma is a senior managing director and leads Accenture’s Technology business in the UK and Ireland. Before joining the company 20 years ago, Emma completed a degree in engineering followed by an MSc in electronics from the University of Edinburgh. Much of her career has been spent delivering large scale complex programmes with an engrained technology architecture background.