Eyeing the future: Accenture’s fundamentals drive human-centric technology change at scale

‘Leaders Wanted — Masters of Change at a Moment of Truth’

Accenture’s (NYSE: ACN) recent virtual event to introduce its Accenture Technology Vision 2021 kicked off with a quick recap of the socioeconomic headwinds of 2020. These headwinds include four new concerns facing people personally and professionally: an increasing global population driving a need for new ways of interacting; the evolution of “Every business is a tech business” as technology’s role changes with the changing environment; the workforce of the future; and sustainability. Accenture Group Chief Executive – Technology and Chief Technology Officer Paul Daugherty then outlined in detail the five major trends of its 2021 vision.

Delivered under the slogan “Leaders Wanted — Masters of Change at a Moment of Truth,” the vision highlights five key areas, which we expect to drive investments not just from Accenture but also peers and enterprises, given the company’s market-making status in multiple domains.

  1. Stack strategically: While this trend at its core applies to architecting and redesigning organizations’ technology stacks to support the enterprise of the future, which includes attributes from the customer experience to the security layer, it also maps to Accenture’s core value proposition of joining consultants, designers, researchers, solution architects and delivery personnel, all through the umbrella of Accenture Innovation Architecture.
  2. Mirrored world: The resurgence of the digital twin is moving beyond experimental phases, and large enterprises are seeing an opportunity to invest in an area that, in the era of COVID-19, which has led to social distancing and reduced access to physical plants, will allow them to use IoT techniques to enable remote monitoring and control. Accenture’s ongoing investments in mobility and IoT service offerings over the past five years, along with the recent push into product engineering offerings, largely enabled through acquisitions, will enable the company to address demand and increase client stickiness.
  3. I, technologist: The democratization of technology, which has enabled workforces to do more with less and orient their productivity to higher-value tasks largely enabled by automation, while not a new trend, has certainly reached a pivotal point, given the changes over the past 12 months in how employees perform their work. Accenture’s rigorous approach to and ongoing investments in training — including spending $1 billion per year on reskilling and upskilling personnel, with efforts most recently focused on building cloud consulting, architecting and delivery skills — enable it to drive internal change at scale, and then sell its capabilities “as a Service” to clients.

On Feb. 17, 2021, Accenture held a one-hour virtual session introducing its Accenture Technology Vision 2021. While the format was different than in previous years, the 21st iteration of the summit had a similar goal: to portray Accenture’s technology prowess and appetite for innovation and scale. Hosted by Accenture Group Chief Executive – Technology and Chief Technology Officer Paul Daugherty, Accenture Senior Managing Director and Lead – Technology Innovation and Accenture Labs Marc Carrel-Billiard, and Managing Director – Accenture Technology Vision Michael Blitz, the virtual delivery of the content was both a sign of times and a demonstration of Accenture’s ability to coordinate, deliver and manage virtual events in collaboration with ecosystem partners — in this case, Touchcast. 

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