The enterprise is entering a new “post-digital” era, where success will be based on an organization’s ability to master a set of new technologies that can deliver personalized realities and experiences for customers, employees and business partners, according to Accenture Technology Vision 2019, the annual report from Accenture that predicts key technology trends that will redefine businesses over the next three years.
According to this year’s report, “The Post-Digital Era is Upon Us — Are You Ready for What’s Next?,” the enterprise is at a turning point. Digital technologies enable companies to understand their customers with a new depth of granularity; give them more channels with which to reach those consumers; and enable them to expand ecosystems with new potential partners. But digital is no longer a differentiating advantage — it’s now the price of admission.
In fact, nearly four in five (79 percent) of the more than 6,600 business and IT executives worldwide that Accenture surveyed for the report believe that digital technologies — specifically social, mobile, analytics and cloud — have moved beyond adoption silos to become part of the core technology foundation for their organization.
The Technology Vision identifies five emerging technology trends that companies must address if they are to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving landscape:
DARQ Power: Understanding the DNA of DARQ
Get to Know Me: Unlock unique consumers and unique opportunities
Human+ Worker: Change your workplace or hinder your workforce
Secure Us to Secure Me: Enterprises are not victims, they’re vectors.
MyMarkets: Meet consumers at the speed of now
According to the report, innovation for organizations in the post-digital era involves figuring out how to shape the world around people and pick the right time to offer their products and services. They’re taking their first steps in a world that tailors itself to fit every moment — where products, services and even people’s surroundings are customized and where businesses cater to the individual in every aspect of their lives and jobs, shaping their realities.
One company taking individualization and customization to a new level is Zozotown, Japan’s biggest e-commerce company. Its skintight spandex Zozosuits pair with the Zozotown app to take customers’ exact measurements; custom-tailored pieces from the company’s in-house clothing line arrive in as few as 10 days.
And it’s not just in the fashion industry where technology is enabling customization previously not possible. US retailer Sam’s Club developed an app that uses machine learning and data about customers’ past purchases to auto-fill their shopping lists; the company plans to add a navigation feature to show optimized routes through the store to each item on that list.
The report notes that companies still completing their digital transformations are looking for a specific edge, whether it’s innovative service, higher efficiency or more personalization.
But post-digital companies are out to surpass the competition by combining these forces to change the way the market itself works — from one market to many custom markets — on-demand and in the moment, just as Chinese e-retail platform JD.com is doing with its “Toplife” platform. The service helps third parties sell through JD by setting up customized stores, providing access to its supply chain with cutting-edge robotics and drone delivery.
In partnership with Walmart, a physical store in Shenzhen will offer more than 8,000 products available in person or delivered from the store in under 30 minutes. By offering unprecedented customization and speed, JD is empowering other companies while creating a new market for itself.