Is a simple digital transformation enough to set your business apart?

This year’s Accenture Technology Vision report highlights the emerging trends that are expected to shape financial services organizations over the next three years. In each trend, we see how digital saturation is raising expectations, abilities and risk, and how businesses are seeking new ways to differentiate themselves as the world moves into the post-digital era.

As a society, we are nearing a turning point in the importance of the digital enterprise, where more businesses are expected to have completed their digital transformations than not. Digital-era technology, which began as a differentiating advantage years ago, is now expected from every business. Companies still completing their digital transformations are looking for a specific edge, whether it’s innovative service, higher efficiency or more personalization. Post-digital companies are looking for much more—seeking to bypass the competition by changing the way the market itself works.

For financial services leaders, we offer three recommendations:

  1. Move your focus to the end. As companies begin to understand instant demand and their supply options expand, they should have more opportunities than they can pursue. “Success” should mean carefully choosing specific opportunities to target—and just as important, the ones not to target—then working backward to identify how to get there.
  2. Define what it means for your business to be post-digital as the world moves into a new phase of cooperation. As companies settle on their new goals and the pathways to reach them, they should also determine which ecosystem vendors, alliance and partners they require and where their own place in the ecosystem should be.
  3. Master SMAC as a core competency and a foundation to rotate to what’s next. When it comes to enterprise-level technology strategies, companies can never stop moving. Social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) combined are driving some of the biggest enterprise and market transformations since the dawn of the industrial era. At this point, failing to master SMAC leaves businesses unable to serve even the most basic demands of a post-digital world. Winning on this front unlocks boundless future opportunities.

These goals come with a new level of responsibility. As businesses use technologies to reach further into people’s lives, shaping the very fabric of reality, they should address the privacy, safety, ethics and governance questions that come along with that level of access:

  • How do you measure the potential impact of products and services on society?
  • How do you avoid crossing ethical boundaries where there are different lines for every reality and moment?
  • How do you responsibly pick the opportunities to target in the first place?

Also, it’s critical to remember that “can” doesn’t always mean “should”.

In our next post, we’ll look at the five technology trends likely to have the biggest impact on financial services companies in the coming three years and factors to consider for each.

In the meantime, read the full report: The Post-Digital Era is Upon Us: Are you ready for what’s next?

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