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article imageDigital transformation challenges for Canadian businesses

By Tim Sandle     Feb 18, 2018 in Business
Digital transformation requires companies to implement new technologies and develop an appropriate culture, to ensure success. A new report from Accenture assesses where Canadian businesses measure against global standards.
The new report is the latest in the Accenture Technology Vision series. This is an annual technology report from analysts at Accenture which surveys how technological trends will disrupt business over the medium term. The 2018 report is titled “Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed: Redefine Your Company Based on the Company You Keep.” For the research, Accenture report surveyed over 6,300 business and IT executives worldwide. The main finding from the report are detailed in the Digital Journal article “Digital transformation requires a fundamental shift in leadership.”
The report also profiles different countries and looks for patterns and trends specific to different stages of business development of relevance to different territories. There are some points of interest for Canadian business leaders in relation to digital transformation.
Harnessing artificial intelligence
The first finding is about harnessing artificial intelligence to benefit both business and society (so-termed “citizen artificial intelligence”). Here 4 out of 5 Canadian executives (82 percent of respondents) agree that within the next two years, artificial intelligence will work next to humans in their organizations, as a co-worker, collaborator and trusted advisor. Furthermore, 81 percent of executives agree that through technology, businesses are weaving themselves seamlessly into the fabric of how people live today.
Data reliability
The second point relates to data reliability and veracity, which relates to business trust and corporate governance. Here 74 percent of Canadian executives report that their organizations seek to gain customer trust and confidence by being transparent in their artificial intelligence based decisions and actions. Moreover, 84 percent of Canadian executives agree that organizations are basing their most critical systems and strategies on data, yet many have not invested in the capabilities to verify the truth within it.
Extended reality technology
The third area relates to extended reality technologies, which breakdown the distance to people, information and experience. With this, 78 percent of Canadian executives believe it will be important or very important to leverage virtual and augmented reality solutions to close the gap of physical distance when engaging with employees and customers. However, just 23 percent of Canadian executives state it is very important for their organizations to be a pioneer in such solutions.
Rearchitecting business systems
The fourth area is about the extent that companies can move on from internal legacy systems and ‘rearchitect’ themselves. To achieve this some 24 percent of Canadian businesses report they are working with double or more partners than they were two years ago.
Developing the Internet of Thinking
The fifth and final area is with what’s termed Internet of Thinking, which concerns bringing intelligent environments, lime artificial intelligence, to life. The situation is healthy here, with 69 per cent of Canadian executives believing it will be critical over the next two years to leverage customer hardware and hardware accelerators to meet the computing demands of intelligent environments. To add to this, 66 percent of Canadian executives state that blockchain and smart contracts will be critical or very critical to their organizations over the next three years.
These findings show both the strength and strategizing of Canadian business and the areas that businesses need to focus most greatly upon.
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