IT laggards could lose up to $20 billion in revenue over the next 5 years, says Accenture

Accenture's leaders see enterprise technologies as a system compared to independent fixes and bet on cloud, AI, big data analytics and IoT.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Companies that fail to scale innovation may lose up to $20 billion in revenue over the next five years as enterprises thrive or dive based on information technology decisions, according to Accenture.

Accenture's report was based on a survey of more than 8,300 companies across 20 industries and 22 countries. Accenture scored companies on technology adoption, depth of technology adoption and cultural readiness. From there, Accenture segmented companies into leaders, defined as the top 10%, and laggards, which represent the bottom 25%.

An early version of Accenture's report had a figure of $200 billion, but that sum was revised down due to limitations in the estimates and model. For illustrative purposes, Accenture went with $20 billion as highlighted in this graphic. The upshot is the same that comapanies that are growing over the next five years are likely to be investing heavily in holistic approaches to emerging technologies. 


Simply put, Accenture's leaders see enterprise technologies as a system compared to independent fixes. Leaders also adopt earlier, reinvest and are more deliberate about purchases.

The biggest takeaway from Accenture's report revolve around the following:

  • 98% of leaders are adopting artificial intelligence, but only 42% of laggards have.
  • 94% of leaders trust their business data. That trust is a precursor to adopting AI and analytics. 64% of laggards trusted their data to be reliable enough for business change.
  • 95% of leaders have adopted cloud computing and advanced tools such as serverless computing compared to 30% of laggards.
  • 91% of leaders work with cross departmental teams to combine IT and business strategies compared to 41% of laggards.
  • In 2018, laggards surrendered 15% in forgone annual revenue and may miss out on 46% in revenue growth by 2023 without enterprise technology change.
  • 90% of leaders ensure data quality compared to 64% of laggards

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Accenture explained in its report:

Today's C-suite is making significant investments in new technologies. Yet they are not necessarily achieving full value. They're deploying technologies in pockets, or silos, of their organizations, without a strategy for scaling the innovation from these technologies across the enterprise. Unable to scale their innovation, they're not realizing the full benefits of their technology investments.

This is creating what we call the innovation achievement gap—the difference between potential and realized value from technology investments.

Ultimately, leaders are looking to meld data, infrastructure, applications, humans and machines in one system. In theory, these systems should be more able to adapt and scale over time.

Technologies that enable leaders range from big data to cloud to Internet of things to machine learning and artificial intelligence to containers and robotics. Here's a look.


Technology Adoption and Rates, Leaders and Laggards. Figures here show rates of adoption of specific technologies in aggregate. Leaders also, by and large, adopt these technologies earlier than Laggards. Credit: Accenture  

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