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Delivering Digital

Are You Afraid of the DARQ?

Expect distributed ledger technology, AI, extended reality, and quantum computing to be the four biggest forces of disruptive business change, say Accenture Labs experts

Businesses that want to prepare themselves for the post-digital era need to think a few steps ahead of the digital transformation process. As more competitors harness digital capabilities driven by the likes of analytics, mobile, and cloud, these technologies are becoming part of the business status quo.

That means organizations need to think a few steps ahead in their digital chess game, according to experts at Accenture Labs and Accenture Research, the consultancy’s research and development arms.

“As we move collectively into the post-digital era, these capabilities and advantages are now available to every organization,” they wrote in the just-released “Accenture Technology Vision 2019” report, which explains that simply having digital capabilities alone isn’t a differentiator.

They believe the next wave of digital differentiation is going to come from the combined forces of four key emerging technologies, which they’ve called DARQ: distributed ledger technology, AI, extended reality, and quantum computing.

“All four DARQ technologies are, or will be, powerful on their own. But as they advance, they will push each other forward further,” they wrote. “Leaders in the DARQ-driven future will be prepared to combine and exploit those competencies as the technologies reach enterprise-level maturity.”

Among the more than 6,600 business and IT executives Accenture interviewed, 89% of them are experimenting with one or more DARQ technologies. Even though each of the four technology fields are at different stages of adoption and maturity, Accenture advises enterprises to start exploring ways to combine them now in order to set themselves up for disruptive success later on down the line. They point to now-dominant digital enterprises’ early experimentation and mashups of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies as a model to repeat with DARQ.

“For some, this means launching pilots,” they wrote. “For others, it means looking into startups and building relationships or making acquisitions. The companies that recognize the opportunity—and begin to explore possibilities and investments with strategic focus—will be leaders in a brand-new competitive landscape.”

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