According to Accenture's Technology Vision 2020 , the annual study on the trends that will characterize the world of innovation in the coming years , 52% of consumers say that technology plays a leading role or is rooted in almost every aspect of their life daily. In fact, 19% report that technology is so integrated into their lives that they see it as an extension of themselves. Globally, people spend an average of 6.4 hours online per day.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affirmed the role that technology plays in our lives: thanks to it we have remained in contact with our loved ones, even when we could not hug. Robots in hospitals have allowed sick people to see and talk to the people they love . Smart devices still monitor patients' health and collect valuable health data. The man-machine relationship has not stopped, indeed, innovation is making great strides.
In Technology Vision 2020 , Accenture talks about " tech-clash ", or the risk that the company's values are not always in tune with new technological models, and affirms once again that companies that will not manage the " tech-clash " they will face a climate of growing consumer distrust and dissatisfaction. We do not know when the pandemic will end or the long-term consequences it will bring, but it is good to prepare for the demand for innovation which is now higher than ever.
The question for businesses is: how quickly will they be able to act? In light of this new reality and the new imperative, the trends of Technology Vision 2020 prove even more current in interpreting the impact that innovation will have on people and business in the post-COVID world. Let's see in detail the trends proposed by Accenture .
The I in Experience: evolution of digital experiences
What's better than a fully personalized digital experience? Well, nothing, you will think, but for most customers, this leaves the feeling of not being sufficiently informed and not having full control over their profiling data. Why? Many companies suddenly find themselves outdated from a technological point of view. Businesses need to be able to quickly understand how people's wants and needs change and to quickly update information that is no longer valid.
"66% of consumers say they are as concerned about the commercial use of their personal data and online identity for personalization purposes as they are about security threats and hackers."
The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed digital experiences and businesses will need more agile engagement strategies. Digital platforms and experiences are becoming the primary source of interaction for many of us. Most of these tools, however, have been designed only to complement personal experiences, not replace them. Now there is a skyrocketing demand for truly shared virtual experiences and communities, and leading companies are showing up to this new scenario.
AI and Me: collaboration between humans and artificial intelligence in Accenture's Technology Vision 2020
Before the pandemic, the idea of pooling AI capabilities was already high in the attention of many industries. The Technology Vision survey found that 73% of organizations have started the pilot phase or are adopting AI in one or more business units . Think about how artificial intelligence systems are powering chatbots that help healthcare professionals screen and triage patients, or how they are enabling rapid reconfiguration of supply chains affected by COVID-19. The benefits of human-AI interaction have never been as promising as they are today.
A 2019 Accenture global study on Artificial Intelligence found that one of the main obstacles to technology adoption is lack of adoption by employees. But the pandemic could help us overcome this difficulty. Right now, devices that use AI, from virtual healthcare assistants to fever scanners, are helping people stay healthy and educated. But they are also helping to make essential businesses work.
Companies will need to be ready for a more automated future , taking advantage of the challenges facing the pandemic. In this period they should form partnerships, enable new capabilities and work with institutions to explore new opportunities related to technology adoption.
The Dilemma of Smart Things: the changing nature of ownership
When buying an electronic device, the consumer often has the feeling of not having full ownership. The constant updates from the manufacturer mean that that product is always, at least a little, still in his hands. COVID-19 is increasing the need for this kind of smart , upgradeable products , which have great public health potential, but failing to care for the user experience could complicate matters.
Despite the fact that the fight against the pandemic is now the priority in the long term , consumer frustration will be strongly felt again . To combat this virus, we are bringing more smart devices into our lives, and many of us are more willing to share our data than before. But this won't last forever and companies need to prepare for any reactions. Device-driven initiatives aimed at fighting the pandemic have already sparked discussions about privacy, and many fear that their data may be compromised and used for illegal purposes in the future.
Innovation DNA: maturation of digital technologies and scientific progress
The new DARQ ( Distributed Ledger Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Extended Reality, and Quantum Computing ) technologies will merge and combine the seemingly separate strategies of all these areas. Again, COVID-19 is accelerating the adoption of these technologies beyond all expectations.
In the short term, the pandemic is accelerating collaborations between different entities to spur technological innovation in these fields . Municipalities are collaborating with hotels to house homeless people and prevent overcrowding in shelters from spreading the virus. The pandemic is leading companies to consider and test a large number of new partnerships and possibilities.
In the long run, the situation will be somewhat different. Many leaders are putting together new innovation strategies and forming new partnerships to address the rapid and continuous changes imposed by this crisis. They are creating the DNA of agile and resilient innovation , and when the pandemic is over, they will be well positioned to meet new needs and build new capabilities faster than ever.
Covid-19 and innovation in Accenture's Technology Vision 2020
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has revealed that the trends in Technology Vision are even more relevant to the recovery . During this time, companies will have to reinvent themselves to achieve new goals as quickly as possible. We are facing increasingly urgent technological challenges and companies must be able to live up to new market expectations, as well as the need to face them responsibly.