Dubai – Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies are accelerating the creation of intelligent enterprises and enabling companies to integrate themselves into people’s lives, according to Accenture Technology Vision 2018. The annual technology report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) forecasts key technology trends likely to disrupt business over the next three years. However, capitalizing on growth opportunities while also having a positive impact on society requires a new era of leadership that prioritizes trust and greater responsibility.
As part of the Technology Vision, Accenture surveyed more than 6,400 business and IT executives worldwide. Four in five respondents in UAE (80 percent) agree that through technology, companies are weaving themselves seamlessly into the fabric of how people live today.
This year’s report, “Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed: Redefine Your Company Based on the Company You Keep,” lays emphasis on the way rapid advancements in five specific technologies – including artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and the cloud – are enabling companies to not just create innovative products and services but change the way people work and live. As a result, this is changing companies’ relationships with their customers and business partners.
“The UAE continues to witness the exponential speed at which technology is disrupting industries; and as a future-focused country, is fortunate to have the mindset required to leverage these technology advancements. This year, our Technology Vision 2018 aims to help companies succeed and grow their digital transformation to realize the potential of their intelligent enterprise.” said Alexis Lecanuet, Regional Managing Director, Accenture Middle East & Turkey. “To do so, it requires the creation of reliable principles that focus on establishing trust with clients and business partners. As a result, companies’ commitments to such partnerships enable them to invent new products and services that meet customers goals. Inevitably, this is what will allow for further growth and differentiation.”
The Technology Vision identifies five emerging technology trends that companies must address if they are to build the partnerships needed to succeed in today’s digital economy:
Citizen AI: Raising AI to Benefit Business and Society. As artificial intelligence (AI) grows in its capabilities, so does its impact on people’s lives. Businesses looking to capitalize on AI’s potential must acknowledge this impact, “raising” AI to act as responsible representatives of their business. Results have concluded that 77 percent of UAE executives agree that AI is advancing faster than their organization’s pace of adoption. Leaders have also responded that AI will work side by side with humans in the coming years as a co-workers, collaborators, and trusted advisors (74 percent). However, when it comes to understanding the extent of which employees understand the general principles (data, criteria, etc.) used to make AI-based within an organization, 12 percent of UAE executives reported their employees have a full understanding on the process.
Extended Reality (XR): The End of Distance. Virtual and augmented reality technologies are transforming the ways people live and work by removing the distance to people, information and experiences. In the UAE, 86 percent have reported it will be important to leverage XR solutions to close the physical gap when engaging with employees or citizens, while 85 percent claimed it is important for their organizations to be a pioneer in XR solutions, especially in the customer service and product development industries.
Data Veracity: The Importance of Trust. By transforming themselves to run on data, businesses now face a new kind of vulnerability: inaccurate, manipulated and biased data that leads to corrupted business insights and skewed decisions. To address this challenge, companies must follow a dual mandate to maximize veracity and minimize incentives for data manipulation. Case in point: While 75 percent of UAE executives agree their organizations are using data at unprecedented scale for critical and automated decision making, only 59 percent report frequent validation of data from ecosystem partners
Frictionless Business: Built to Partner at Scale. Businesses depend on technology-based partnerships for growth, but their own legacy systems aren’t designed to support partnerships at scale. To fully power the connected Intelligent Enterprise, companies must first re-design themselves. Moreover, 60 percent of UAE IT executives have reported an increase in the use of microservices over the next year, while 69 percent expect to integrate blockchain in their organizations’ systems within the next three years.
Internet of Thinking: Creating Intelligent Distributed Systems. Businesses are making big bets on intelligent environments via robotics, AI and immersive experiences, but bringing these intelligent environments to life will require not only adding key skills and workforce capabilities, but also modernizing current enterprise technology infrastructures. In fact,71 percent of the UAE’s executives agree the next generation of intelligent solutions are moving into physical environments; while 85 percent agree that to support real-time insights and actions, organizations need a renewed focus on custom hardware and hardware accelerators.
For nearly 18 years, Accenture has taken a systematic look across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging technology trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and industries. For more information on this year’s report, visit www.accenture.com/technologyvision or follow the conversation on Twitter with #TechVision2018.