How do you improve the way people work and live?
Accenture’s Technology Vision 2018 report tackles this question by highlighting trends and rapid advancements in technologies that are improving the way people work and live. The report highlights a need for a fundamental shift in leadership that is required to cultivate partnerships with customers and business partners, and to further accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence as the fuel for enterprises to grow and deliver social impact.
Accenture’s 2018 report, called Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed: Redefine Your Company Based on the Company You Keep, highlights how rapid advancements in 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. This, in turn, is changing companies’ relationships with their customers and business partners.
“Technology,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer, “is now firmly embedded throughout our everyday lives and is reshaping large parts of society. This requires a new type of relationship, built on trust and the sharing of large amounts of personal information.”
Accenture identifies five emerging technology trends that companies must address if they are to build the partnerships needed to succeed in today’s digital economy:
1. 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.
2. Extended Reality: 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.
3. 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. “The presence of bad data in a system isn’t always the result of malicious intent, but may be a sign that a process isn’t working the way it was intended,” said Accenture.
4. 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.
5. 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.
CITIZEN AI: RAISING AI TO BENEFIT BUSINESS AND SOCIETY
According to Accenture’s Technology Vision report, deploying AI is no longer just about training it to perform a given task. Successful deployment of AI systems is about “raising” it to act as a responsible representative of the business and a contributing member of society. Accenture suggests that “as AI systems learn, make autonomous decisions, they have grown from a tool to a partner, coordinating and collaborating with people at work and at home.”
Accenture highlights examples of AI systems in healthcare, retail, insurance, and the tech industries where AI is much more than just a tool. AI is now a public face of businesses, interacting directly with customers via chat, voice, and email in a customer service capacity. In 2017, Accenture said AI is the new UI and that AI is about to become your company’s digital spokesperson. AI systems today are now actively driving sales forecast meetings.
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