The Business of Applications: Accenture Technology Vision 2014

Accenture Mobility's annual research initiatives serve as eye-opening commentary on the way in which technology is reshaping the modern business landscape. The Accenture Technology Vision 2014 analyses six trends which are currently defining the ever-expanding digital space.

Accenture have identified the focus of these trends to be businesses transitioning 'from digitally disrupted to digital disrupter'. Essentially, this research has anticipated an impending surge of digital transformations among well established, large-scale enterprises, in an attempt to catch up with the entrepreneurial businesses which have prospered from launching the digital age as we know it today.

The six trends which provide the structure for this theme are seen as enablers for this paradigm shift, with enterprises leveraging their significant resources to launch dynamic digital strategies including full mobile optimisation.

An excerpt from the Technology Vision muses: "If the last decade has been seen as the playground of the digital startups - overnight sensations such as Instagram and Twitter, Zipcar and YouTube, TripAdvisor and Airbnb - then the coming decade will see the emergence of the traditional companies as digital giants."

It is well documented that mobility allows organisations to improve business processes, capitalise on real-time intelligence to streamline their processes, expand the boundaries of conventional workforces, and significantly increase revenue.

Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that business strategies and IT strategies are now synonymous, and must align seamlessly, to allow organisations to compete and succeed at the top level.

The Business of Applications identifies software as a core competency in the digital world. Within the fifth trend of this year's Technology Vision, Paul Daugherty, CTO at Accenture states: "Software is changing, and for large organisations, their applications are looking more like consumer apps, with more flexibility and agility than ever."

"Complex enterprise software will always be needed to support large organisations, but now we're seeing a pronounced shift toward simpler, more modular apps. In parallel, we're seeing business functions partnering with technology organisations to assume joint ownership of the new, agile applications.ã?쳌

Following in the footsteps of the consumer market, enterprises are rapidly adopting apps in a push for vastly improved operational agility. Accenture reveal that 54% of the highest-performing IT teams have already deployed enterprise app stores, facilitating this shift towards simple, modular apps for employees.

As a result, the business and IT decision makers of these digital businesses must decide who plays what role in their app development, as well as establishing a fluid app development process, to capitalise on the latest technologies and accelerate business growth.

Paul Daugherty continues: "Apps are revolutionising how companies operate, and the leaders are coming to terms with the challenges, and seizing the opportunities."

The Technology Vision offers an outline of a 100 day plan, designed to encourage the development of a comprehensive strategy that will lay out the foundation for enterprise app development.

  • Appoint a digital champion to coordinate development of your app strategy across organisations in your enterprise.
  • Determine your ability to enable cloud and mobile apps against your existing SOA, API Management, and PaaS investments. Based on this evaluation, start preparing a strategy to separate your back-end services from front-end apps.
  • Start creating a list of enterprise-level apps to be developed. Work cross-functionally across business units to prioritise the items on your list.
  • Start planning a pilot for your highest priority apps that will deploy in conjunction with the enterprise app store.
  • Aim to validate the readiness of your app production environment.Review and begin to update your app process and app governance strategy. Prepare to shift toward a hybrid buy and build environment, where your IT buy for front-end functions will decrease.