Six key IT trends that will transform businesses

All businesses, from the global 2000 to small businesses, are facing a pressing need to re-examine their capabilities in light of the next stages of their digital journeys, according to the Accenture Technology Vision 2014 report.

Every year, the Technology Vision team at Accenture Technology Labs, with the Accenture Research organisation, pinpoints the emerging IT developments that will have the greatest impact on companies, government agencies, and other organisations in the years ahead.

The Technology Vision 2014 explores the six key IT trends that hold the most potential to transform businesses over the next three years:

1. Digital-physical blur

The physical world is coming online as objects, devices, and machines acquire more digital intelligence. Consumers become better informed and better equipped to influence the ways they experience everything around them. And businesses get real-time connections to the physical world that allow machines as well as employees to act and react faster—and more intelligently.

2. From workforce to crowdsourcedigital 1

Cloud, social, and collaboration technologies now allow organisations to tap into vast pools of resources across the world, many of whom are motivated to help. Channeling these efforts to drive business goals is a challenge, but the opportunity is enormous: it can give every business access to an immense, agile workforce that is not only better suited to solving some of the problems that organisations struggle with today but in many cases will do it for free.

3. Data supply chain

Data technologies are evolving rapidly, but most have been adopted in piecemeal fashion. As a result, enterprise data is vastly underutilized. Companies must start treating data more as a supply chain, enabling it to flow easily and usefully through the entire organization – and eventually throughout each company’s ecosystem of partners.

4. Harnessing hyperscale

Eclipsed by more than a decade of innovation in software, the hardware world is again a hotbed of new development as demand soars for bigger, faster, lower-cost data centers. In this new world, hardware matters more than ever in transforming enterprises into digital businesses with access to unlimited computing power that can be turned on and off as needed.

5. The business of applications

Mimicking the shift in the consumer world, organisations are rapidly moving from enterprise applications to apps. There will always be big, complex enterprise software systems to support large organisations, and it will still be necessary for IT developers to keep customizing those systems, providing updates, patches, and more. But now, as large enterprises push for greater IT agility, there is a sharp shift toward simpler, more modular, and more custom apps.

6. Architecting resilience

In the digital era, businesses must support wide-ranging demands for nonstop processes, services, and systems. This has particular resonance in the office of the CIO, where the need for “always-on” IT infrastructure, security, and resilient practices can mean the difference between business as usual and erosion of brand value.

Download the Accenture Technology Vision 2014 report.

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