Mobility No 1 priority for enterprises, followed by big data analytics and connected products
28% plan to build entirely new digital businesses or services as a result of convergence
MOBILITY is the most important digital technology priority for large enterprises, a new global study by Accenture has found.
Reflecting mobility’s role as an enabler of other technologies in today’s digital businesses, 43% of respondents ranked it as a top one or two priority, with 77% placing it in the top five, Accenture said in a statement.
Big data analytics came next with 72% putting it in the top five, followed by connected products at 65%. (Accenture defines ‘connected products’ as “smart interconnected devices with contextual interfaces that provide customised services and embedded software that enables them to collect, send and receive relevant data.)
To shed light on how companies currently view and use digital technologies, Accenture surveyed nearly 1,500 C-level executives at companies in 14 countries around world in the Accenture Mobility Insights Report 2014.
Over one-third of enterprises (35%) expect the convergence of social, mobile, analytics, cloud and connected products – grouped together as digital technologies – to increase their sales in existing markets, according to the research.
Three-quarters view the adoption of digital technologies as a strategic investment rather than something to be evaluated on a case by case basis, as 29% expect their adoption to generate additional revenue.
Also, 28% plan to build entirely new digital businesses or services as a result of convergence, and 27% expect to penetrate new markets altogether, showing significant promise around the world from mobility and digital technologies, and demonstrating that they are viewed as drivers for better engagement with customers, and the creation of new revenue streams, Accenture said.
However, new revenue streams are not the only financial consideration, it added. One in 10 respondents reported over 100% return on investment (ROI) for mobility implementations in the last two years, and a further 26% saw returns of between 50% and 100%.
However, those with the greatest ROI – the leaders – shared common traits in their approach to new technologies, which are viewed as enabling operational efficiency and long-term growth.
“Any successful technology implementation requires certain ingredients, but this research demonstrates that in the case of newer, digital technologies, it’s not just about actions, but about attitude too,” said Jin Lee, global managing director of Accenture Mobility.
“Mobility was the forerunner to many of the digital technologies that are now being adopted, and businesses can learn from the mobility leaders’ successes of what they need to do to make their adoptions of analytics, social or connected products successful,” he added.
Organisations with over 100% ROI, of whom over two-thirds claimed to have effectively adopted and deployed mobile technologies compared with 45% of others, shared a number of common traits, according to Accenture:
1) A formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategy and measurement
Eleven percent more likely than other respondents to have a formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategy, leaders are ahead of the curve.
This year, 43% of enterprises on average were found to have developed a formal mobile strategy, a vast improvement on the 23% that claimed one in a similar survey carried out by Accenture last year.
Processes and metrics also offered insight, as 29% of leaders have a formal process for identifying, evaluating and prioritising ways in which mobility can benefit business, versus only 18% of others.
For leaders and others, measurement is shown as a low priority, as only 22% of the former and 13% of the latter have formal metrics in place to measure the effectiveness of mobility initiatives.
2) An aggressive, ambitious attitude
Over half the leaders (54%) reported having aggressively pursued and invested in mobile technologies across their business, considering mobility as a key tenet of business strategy.
Compared with just 40% of other respondents, this was also reflected by leaders being more likely to report they have effectively adopted and deployed mobile technologies (69% versus 42%).
Leaders were also more likely to believe that all the major digital technologies are a top-five priority, an average 8% ahead of those companies performing less well in mobility projects.
3) Securing senior leadership buy-in
Leaders showed a higher likelihood to report that the CEO (chief executive officer) and the leadership team or board of directors ultimately own their mobile strategy, and that their companies’ senior leadership are highly engaged with the organisation’s mobility initiatives.
Amongst all respondents, 35% had CEOs involved in formulating mobile strategy, with 30% of CMOs (chief marketing officers) or equivalent also having a say.
“The influence of digital technologies has clearly changed the way organisations operate, with the CEO and leadership teams increasingly having responsibility for technology decisions, as they become ever-more entwined with business growth,” said Lee.
“There are still many challenges that businesses must face: The need for enterprise-wide technology strategies is key, but companies also need to harness today’s technology with an eye on tomorrow.
“Businesses must be agile enough to quickly adapt, with a strong enough technology support system to enable that, but also to fully exploit the capabilities of digital technologies already in place.
“Mobility came before the digital technologies it’s now converging with, and as such enterprises can learn real lessons from mobility implementations. If they are to take full advantage and see the market growth they expect from digital convergence, it’s more than a suggestion to learn from peers; it’s an imperative,” he added.
The study found that only 30% of respondents believed they had the right talent and skills to properly plan and execute their mobility initiatives, which goes part way to explaining why only 27% feel they keep pace with new mobile devices, systems and services, adopting them as necessary to improve their businesses.
For more info, go to www.accenture.com/mobilityinsights.
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