Mobile, social, virtualisation, big data and cloud are well past the point of exploration and are at the point where they can be leveraged for businesses to gain a competitive advantage, according to Accenture's chief technology officer Paul Daugherty.
He was referring to the conclusions of the Accenture Technology Vision 2013 report, which is developed annually by the Accenture Technology Labs.
"CIOs today are very much on the front line of the business and it is now a pivotal time for them to act on the key trends we've identified," said Daugherty.
For example, data is now being recognised as the key to releasing IT's strategic value, and so "business leaders with foresight are investing in digital tools, capabilities, and skills to more readily collect it, analyse it, derive insights from it, and most importantly, act on it," said Daugherty.
The Accenture Technology Vision 2013 report looks at the future of enterprise IT and makes recommendations for how companies can take advantage of technology and software to improve their competitiveness, operations and business results. According to Daugherty, the recommendations include:
Relationships at Scale: Businesses now have new ways to learn about consumers based on increasingly digital interactions that include email, social media, Web pages, online chat, mobile apps, and tweets. The challenge is to establish seamless multichannel integration and generate insights to transform communications with consumers from transactions to interactions to an unprecedented level of relationship and loyalty. However, many enterprises still view online channels primarily as a way to reduce costs, not improve relationships. This mindset needs to change.
Enterprises must find out how and where consumers are most comfortable interacting with them, whether by leveraging gamification techniques, providing location based apps, or offering context based services. Consider the way a retailer interacts with a customer: a discount delivered in an email is often considered "spam", while that same discount delivered as a consumer scans a product QR code is just good service. Understanding how, when, and where businesses should contact consumers can create a strong brand connection and deeper customer loyalty.
Design for Analytics: Enterprises are flooded daily with information from every part of their business generated from email, social media, websites, mobile apps, and more. Industry estimates peg data growth at 30-50 percent annually, resulting in not just terabytes but petabytes of data for many organisations. The problem is clearly not a lack of data. Instead, businesses are suffering from a lack of the right data.
Having the right data helps enterprises make better decisions. Getting it, however, requires a fundamental shift in how applications are built, configured, instrumented, and updated. While applications must meet functionality needs, they also need to be designed to deliver data that answers the enterprise's key questions.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.