Enterprises of the future will be highly technology-oriented with leaders more tech-savvy than ever:
The world is hungry for a new kind of leadership and this becomes evident with more companies than ever embracing the axiom that every business is a technology business, and they have ignited a new era of exponential transformation as technology continuously reshapes industries and the human experience. This is the broad finding in a research paper on Technology Vision 2021 titled ‘Leaders Wanted – Masters of Change at the Moment of Truth’ by global consultancy firm Accenture. And Accenture says “Now, as we begin shaping our post-pandemic reality, companies must learn to master change.”
Stating that enterprises across industries have accelerated their digital transformations all at once, it is technology that has come to change the world, the report asserts that the era of the fast follower is effectively over and perpetual change is here to stay. “And leaders must not only embrace it, but catalyze it.”
CLOUD IS SUPREME
The report found that 82% of IT executives reported ramping up their use of cloud technologies in direct response to the crisis, and 66% of the respondents reported that they will continue to grow their use of cloud for the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, 95% of companies said they are seeking new ways of engaging customers as a result of covid. “From food delivery platforms that kept restaurants connected to customers to the rise of telehealth services and e-commerce, the pandemic opened enterprises’ eyes to a new reality. Cloud is now at the core of the company, not just the periphery, and technology is no longer just one vehicle for success – it’s the vehicle all possible success depends on,” it adds.
NO WAIT AND WATCH
The study also points out that rapid digital acceleration during the pandemic has cemented technology as the cornerstone of global leadership. It says: “The gap between digital leaders and laggards grows by the day and committing to a wait-and-see approach will land companies on the wrong side of that gap. Leadership demands that enterprises prioritize technology innovation in response to a radically changing world. Small pilots and incremental scaling are an obsolete luxury, and the friction between research, development and large-scale deployment must diminish or disappear.”
The report recalls the maxim that the best way to predict the future is to invent it and states: “Prioritizing technology is essential to ensuring the enterprise doesn’t fall behind. However, true leadership will come from companies embracing radically different mindsets and models. The world has been beset by sweeping change and demands leadership that thinks boldly in response.”
It adds: “Thriving in this moment will require ambitious leaders not content to rehabilitate the business to what it was, but willing to upend convention and wield their vision for the future.”
LEADERS WHO STAND OUT
While from the workforce to supply chains to technology to operation, and business models, leaders have spent decades building systems for static purposes, where change happened slowly and expectedly, today success is coming to those with the audacity to reimagine it all, states the report pointing out further: “In the last year enterprises were forced to confront deep-seated assumptions about how fast the organization can pivot, where or how work gets done, even what they sell and to whom. While some froze, watching their old convictions crumble, others shattered the bureaucracies and assumptions holding them back – becoming the leaders that everyone will follow.
The report cites instances of an organizations rising to the occasion and getting things done: “Before the pandemic, if you asked an executive how long it would take to deploy a new communications platform across the company, doing it in less than a year would feel like a stretch. But in March 2020 the United Kingdom’s National Health Service dispelled perceptions of just how fast technology transformation needs to take. In a matter of weeks, they rolled out Microsoft Teams to 1.2 million employees.
“If you had asked a manufacturer what it would take to pivot from producing power and propulsion systems to medical equipment, they likely would have argued it was nearly impossible. But when the UK faced a critical shortage of ventilators, Rolls-Royce demonstrated the true capacity enterprises have for change. The luxury car manufacturer redesigned its entire supply chain to begin producing this desperately needed medical device. Within five weeks, the company had secured the new parts needed from across 100 different suppliers, orchestrated operations across 3 sites, and production was underway.”
Accenture says there is a temporary vacuum as people, employees, customers and partners all continue to establish a new set of preferences for the next normal. “Boundless opportunity lies ahead for the enterprises willing to break from the mentality of “that’s how we’ve always done it” and become part of crafting what comes next. This could be reinventing the customer experience in your industry, reimagining how data flows across the enterprise and its partners, or fostering the advantages of a virtualized workforce – even when social distancing is no longer a necessity. But the wide-open opportunity also means competition has never been fiercer. Every company, from startups to traditional competitors, is facing those same disruptions, and introducing their own vision of the future all at once. It’s not enough to keep pace anymore – to lead, enterprises must become pioneers,” it says.
The study found that 83% of executives agree that their organization’s business and technology strategies are becoming inseparable – even indistinguishable.
The study says there is a unique moment to rebuild the world better than it was before the pandemic, and realizing that goal will mean expanding our definition of value to include how well people thrive, the impact left on the environment, growing inclusivity, and more.
BUILDING VISION OF FUTURE
The study observes that companies are no longer strictly competing for market share; they are competing to build their vision of the future faster than the competition. Success will depend on their ability to accelerate and master change in all parts of their business, which in turn will be a direct function of the technology decisions they make today, it emphasizes.
“But make no mistake, transforming the enterprise into a technology leader cannot be contained to the oversight of the CIO or CTO alone. To be successful, a digital-first approach must be fostered by the entire C-suite and manifested across all areas of the organization, it cautions.
It forecasts that a new future is on the horizon – one that’s different from what the world expected. “As this future takes shape, there will be no room for enterprises that cling to the past. Will you watch the world change around you? Or be the one leading it? People are ready for something new and it’s time for enterprises to join them. Let there be change,” advocates the report.
The study predicts 5 technology trends for 2021:
- Stack strategically, meaning a scenario where companies compete on their architecture.
- Mirrored world, which is the creation of a new generation of business and intelligence with the investments in data, AI and digital twin technologies.
- I, Technologist, resulting from the use of natural language processing, low-code platforms, robotic process automation etc, which is democratizing technology, putting powerful capabilities into the hands of people all across the business.
- Anywhere, Everywhere, where enterprises have to transform remote work from an accommodation to an advantage.
- From Me to We as the pandemic has ignited a scramble for enterprises to reimagine their partnerships – and multiparty systems gained newfound attention.