Accenture: Canada's Digital Innovation Imperative

InsightaaS: Accenture is recognized globally as a source of both technology and business guidance, working with customers to both develop strategy and to build and deploy the IT systems needed to deliver on those strategies. This document reflects Accenture's work in investigating issues that shape strategy. In "CEO Briefing 2014 - Canada;s Digital Innovation Imperative," Stephen Gardiner, managing director for Accenture Digital in Canada, uses Canadian data from a global survey of more than 1,000 global C-suite executives to highlight disconnects between Canadian management perspectives of opportunities and challenges associated with digital business, and to formulate recommendations for Canadian business leaders. He opens by noting that there appears to be an "optimism gap" in Canada, with executives expressing enthusiasm for digital business options, but failing to follow that optimism with funding for innovation. Worse, Canadian management appears out of touch with customer preferences: they cite "insufficient customer demand for digital solutions" as the key barrier to funding digital initiatives, a perspective that is at odds with other Accenture research showing that 70% of consumers use at least one online channel when prospecting.

Gardiner closes the report with four recommendations for Canadian management: understand that all customers are digital customers, understand how to defend against digitally-enabled disruptors (and recognize opportunities to disrupt), deploy the technologies needed to build a digital enterprise, and evolve business models to enable organizations to move quickly. He concludes by stating that "For Canadian companies to realize growth ambitions, as a group they must...embrace a digital strategy and use it as a springboard to greater innovation."

From the report:

According to recent Accenture research, Canadian executives are optimistic about their companies and the Canadian economy. They are also enthusiastic about the role digital technologies can play in spurring that growth. However, Canadian companies’ lagging position in innovation–especially of the technology kind–may mean executives’ confidence may be misplaced. To seize these opportunities, Canadian companies must fully embrace digital technologies to become disrupters of their chosen markets, or risk being disrupted by more innovative and faster-moving competitors.

Canadian Companies Exude Confidence, But Is There an"Optimism Gap"?

As economic conditions continue to improve, Canadian companies are expressing confidence in their ability to grow profitably in the coming year. According to a recent Accenture research study, "CEO Briefing 2014–The Global Agenda: Competing in a Digital World," a majority of Canadian executives reported to be somewhat or strongly optimistic about the prospects for the global economy (63 percent), the economy of the country in which they are based (85 percent) and their own organization (89 percent).

Canadian executives also are enthusiastic about the role digital transformation will play in improving business performance: They are far more likely than companies globally and in the United States to consider all the major digital technologies important to their company in the next 12 months.

However, while the preceding paints a very favorable picture of Canadian companies’ growth prospects in the coming years, other Accenture research findings reveal there may be an "optimism gap" between respondents’ impressions and Canadian companies’ plans for and use of digital technologies. Are Canadian companies truly doing enough to position themselves for growth led by digital transformation? Our analysis suggests more work must be done...

Read the entire report: http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Local_Canada/PDF/Accenture-Canada-CEO-Briefing-PoV.pdf

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