In its latest report “When Atoms meet Bits – The foundations of our new reality”, Accenture highlights the four main foundations of – and to adapt to – this new reality that is awaiting the society.
From digital identity, to data, AI, to computing and science, some aspects are essential to consider to implement a successful digital transformation strategy and thrive in this new data- and technological-driven world.
Focusing on digital identity for everyone
The UN calls for the creation of a legal identity for all people by 2030, as it could play an important role in providing a legal form of ID to those without one – which is a target set by the Sustainable Development Goals. It is hence a must for leaders to integrate digital identity as part of their innovation agenda.
There are already emerging initiatives which introduce digitally born core identities, spearheaded by governments, public-private partnerships, and grassroots efforts. In this sense, one of the most popular approaches has been to create decentralized/distributed platforms, which are known as Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI). The latter are based on blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology, and their validation depends on consensus mechanisms from different parties.
As decentralization presents various advantages – safety, security, and trust – it nevertheless has challenges, notably in terms of usability, interoperability, and fears over account recovery. It is also necessary to consider how data is shared and managed, as well as to evaluate the balance of ownership across the ecosystem.
As we are shifting towards a consent- and value-based data ecosystem – contrary to the track-and-surveil that exists today – enterprises are hence called upon to tackle these challenges to enjoy enhanced security and renewed confidence with their customers and partners.
Betting on transparency to offer greater insight
Data is the new black. They provide precious insights, being into business processes, consumers, market shifts, investments, corporate leaders and entire industries. Now that enterprises established a better overview of their business activities and processes, this sparked a new expectation from consumers: they also want to see the data now.
So the idea is not to disclose every set of data, notably because data collection and management must respect privacy and confidentiality. But enterprises should open up windows of transparency in order to enhance existing customer relationships, notably trust, and to ignite new ones.
Resisting these new trends in terms of data sharing and transparency is likely to equate to missing key opportunities.
The perks of AI
AI-generated tools, often called “foundation models”, are flooding and are now able to offer unprecedented adaptability within domains they have been trained on. In other words, foundation models generally refer to large AI models trained on an important quantity of data, with significant downstream task adaptability.
At the moment, efforts are being made to build and deploy foundation models; one of the main challenges today is the ever-growing compute requirements, including the associated costs and expertise required to handle this scale.
All these emerging tools, including the well-known AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, equip businesses with new opportunities to approach both tasks and challenges in new ways. Again, this means that businesses must adapt to this wave of change, and focus on learning to build with AI. Hence the importance of understanding how these models will impact their industry, and what are their best use cases.
It is to note that foundation models are breaking ground for the development of unprecedented AI applications and services. These pretrained models could potentially make up for businesses’ lack of data training.
Progress powered by computing and science
Technology and science fields are intertwined, in the sense that both of their forces do guide global and disruptive innovation. As the world is navigating a sea of challenges, notably regarding medicine, supply chain and climate change, it has become paramount to find and develop better and faster solutions.
There are already three main domains witnessing an accelerating cycle and growth: materials and energy, Earth and space, and synthetic biology.
Businesses better succeed to take advantage of these emerging technologies, which actually present as fruitful opportunities, and identify which ones are the most promising in order to transform their businesses in the coming years. Otherwise, science tech might grow as the source of some of their challenges.
It is then time to invest in so as to unleash the potential of compressed innovation and accelerated sci-tech cycles, as they rapidly change but still remain essential for the future.