Companies that lead in technology investment reap the dividends

22 June 2021 3 min. read

Tech adoption has skyrocketed through the pandemic, and those at the cutting edge are clocking five-fold monetary gains over competitors. This is according to new Accenture research of businesses in Asia Pacific and around the world. 

Checking in on the latest in digital transformation: Accenture surveyed more than 4,000 global executives across 25 countries – over 1,000 based in APAC – earlier this year. The findings confirm a familiar narrative: that Covid-19 turbocharged technology adoption worldwide. 

A similar global survey from Accenture in 2019 – among over 8,000 executives worldwide – revealed adoption rates of cloud, data, artificial intelligence, automation, internet of things (IoT) and other advanced tech at roughly 75%. This year’s survey puts this figure well past 90% on average. 

Covid-19 has accelerated tech adoption in business

Some areas are more popular than others: IoT and edge computing has gripped many a business, as have a range of cloud-powered ‘as-a-service’ models across software, infrastructure and platforms. Also near the higher end of adoption rates are a host of data tools – across real-time streaming, analytics and repositories.

Other fields such as artificial intelligence, automation and infrastructure are also gaining traction, but to a lesser extent. Per the researchers, the choice of technology says a lot about a business – particularly its attitude towards digital transformation. 

Cloud computing and analytics, for instance, are seen as basic foundations for a digitalisation drive. These are also the tools best suited to manage the remote working paradigme merging from the pandemic, and all the security and privacy concerns that come with it. So a spike in adoption across these areas suggest a survival-driven tech investment for many. 

Features of such an approach are minimalist spending and a focus on the only business-critical tools. This might well ensure survival, although the research suggests that resilience, competitiveness and excellence in the new normal will require a bigger commitment to advanced tech – positioning it as a driving force of business. 

Feeling the difference

‘Laggards’ and ‘leaders’ – are Accenture’s labels for businesses that take a minimalist versus a comprehensive approach to tech investments. And the leaders are winning out big time. Between 2015 and 2018, leaders in digital transformation grew at roughly twice the rate of laggards in revenue terms. 

Digital transformation leaders grow five times faster than laggards

Since 2018, leaders have grown five times as fast. “This report showcases how investing and doubling down on technology investments and processes has enabled leaders to experience economic and business growth despite the challenges faced from the onset of Covid-19,”noted Ryoji Sekido, Accenture Cloud First lead for APAC, Africa and the Middle East.

“It has highlighted the opport unities in play when companies move from operational-related activities to innovation-based activities like software development, and building new processes in ensuring successful scaling across the enterprise.” 

Moving entirely to the cloud, taking on a new innovation-led mindset and scaling technology to all aspects of business – including reskilling and employee well-being – are some recommendations for laggards to catch up, and gain a bigger share of the post-pandemic revenue pie.