Design for Analytics to Get the “Right” Data: Most of today’s enterprise software applications are designed for a specific function and capture only the data needed to complete that function. Organizations use existing data as an input to make strategic decisions – and often find that information gaps arise because important questions weren’t formulated when the applications were being designed. As a result the relevant data isn’t captured. What’s needed is a strategy that sees data more as a supply chain than a warehouse. It’s about asking the questions that need to be answered first and then designing applications for the “right” data. Companies that recognize this and make data a strategic asset that drives business outcomes will have an edge over those that view data merely as an output.Take Advantage of Data “Velocity”: In addition to data variety and volume, companies now need to consider the third ‘V’ of data – velocity. Mobility and consumerization of IT are driving expectations for faster access to data and more insights from that data. In addition, a surge of new technologies – including high-speed data storage, in-memory computing, analytics advances, data visualization and streaming data querying – is accelerating the entire data cycle from insight to action and improving the enterprise’s ability to deal with greater data velocity. As data becomes more widely used and companies see increasing competitive advantage from faster “data to insight,” the data and analytical skills in an organization also become more critical to converting insights to action before opportunities are lost. Make Work and Processes More Social: The pervasiveness of Web-based social technologies like Facebook® and Twitter® and video tools like Skype TM and Google+ TM Hangouts has profoundly changed the way users communicate with one another. By embedding similar collaborative tools into their business processes, enterprises can take advantage of employees’ growing comfort with social networks to gain a new level of productivity. Employees don’t necessarily need to become more social for collaboration to work; rather, it’s the work and processes that need to be more social. Bridge the Last Mile of Virtualization With Software-Defined Networking: Controlling the flow of information in today’s digital business – where applications, systems, networks and communications channels are constantly changing – is one of the most challenging aspects of enterprise IT. While the virtualization of servers, storage and other parts of IT infrastructure has resulted in unprecedented levels of flexibility, the network has been largely untouched by virtualization until now. Software-defined networking (SDN), where the network is managed through software instead of through hardware, provides a giant leap forward in enterprise flexibility. With SDN, organizations can reconfigure the connectivity of systems without changing the physical characteristics – making it easier for businesses to manage change, integrate cloud services and get more return from their network investments. Be Active – Not Just Defensive – With Security: Despite recent advances in security technology, safeguarding the digital business remains a challenge. The entry points for an attack are constantly expanding across more devices, more systems, more people and a broader infrastructure. As a result, optimal IT security needs to go further than prevention. Recognizing that attackers will get through, enterprises must stay one step ahead of them. IT’s core challenge is to not only stay current with the latest in security, but to get smarter about understanding and engaging the enemy and be able to adapt the enterprise’s defenses to match the threat. Security architectures need to remain flexible and incorporate “active” defenses to deal with the constantly changing field of security threats. The Cloud Is Here – Now is the Time to Prepare the Enterprise: Technologies underpinning cloud are pervasive and here to stay, and the benefits are numerous: helping companies differentiate their business, get their products and services to market faster, enhance operational efficiency, and respond more quickly to new opportunities and challenges. The question for enterprises isn’t “ why should we use cloud?” – but rather, “ how should we use cloud?” Many organizations are already embedding cloud with their legacy systems and traditional software to create “hybrid” environments. This requires a clear understanding of, and approach to, the skills, architecture, governance and security required, whether it’s the applications, platforms or IT infrastructure that’s in the cloud. “The challenge for businesses in today’s digital landscape is to reimagine themselves in the context of an increasingly software-driven world,” said Daugherty. “To succeed, organizations must leverage IT innovations to derive insights that enable them to optimize their enterprise, take advantage of emerging opportunities, strengthen customer loyalty, and deliver better business outcomes.”
For nearly 15 years, Accenture has been looking 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 please visit www.accenture.com/technologyvision.About the Methodology Accenture’s Technology Vision is developed annually by the Accenture Technology Labs. For the 2013 report, Accenture researchers and scientists developed hypotheses about information technology developments that will have a significant impact on businesses over the next three to five years. Accenture also employed social collaboration techniques and crowdsourcing to solicit input and suggestions from thousands of its own employees. Other sources used for the report include trends identified by industry analysts, themes at conferences, and academic literature. Accenture’s original research into the characteristics of high-performing IT organizations was also referenced. About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 259,000 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$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.