Companies in every industry are making steady progress on their digital transformation journeys, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. The recent Provincial Budget was even incorporating a $330M investment over 5 years to facilitate AI development and transition towards the 4.0 Industry in La Belle Province.
But now enterprises are at a turning point. As the 2019 Accenture Technology Vision report explains, practically every organization is driving its business with digital. Companies need to determine which technologies to deploy and how, in order to meet an entirely new set of expectations from customers, employees and business partners – combining hyper-personalization with on-demand products and services to change the way the market itself works.
Five trends to follow to navigate through the post-digital era
Four key technologies, in particular, will lead the way in the post-digital future: distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing—or, collectively, “DARQ.” Already, 84% of 296 Canadian business and IT executives we surveyed as part of the Technology Vision report are experimenting with one or more of these. Leaders who start exploring these technologies now will be ahead of their peers to capitalize on their value as their capabilities mature.
Take the example of Volkswagen, who has used quantum computing to test traffic flow optimization, as well as to simulate the chemical structure of batteries, hoping to accelerate battery development. The company teamed with Nvidia to add AI capabilities to future models. Volkswagen is also testing distributed ledgers to protect cars from hackers, facilitate automatic payments at gas stations, and more. Additionally, Volkswagen uses augmented reality to help employees repair vehicles.
Get to Know Me
Technology-driven interactions are creating an expanding technology identity for every consumer. Companies that are able to draw insights not only from which technologies a person has adopted, but also how they’re used will be poised to better deliver rich, experience-based services and products to their customers.
The Journal de Montréal is currently innovating by adding a new way to tell stories, with the help of augmented reality. Thanks to phone and tablet cameras, some of the newspaper content will come to life in 3D, allowing the reader to interact with tridimensional objects and animations on the device. The Journal unveiled the new contents on March 16, through an augmented reality experience with characters from Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria appearing in the Weekend section.
Human+ Worker: Change your workplace or hinder your workforce
As companies adopt new technologies, it’s important that they don’t neglect the human element of their organizations: the employees. Increasingly, workforce dynamics are shifting towards a “human+,” model, meaning that individual workers’ skillsets are both enhanced and complemented by new, growing sets of capabilities made possible through technology.
An example of using AI to power reskilling or learning in general is provided by Montréal’s Erudite AI. Unlike other analytics, learning and communication tools, Erudite AI’s knowledge management system enables individuals to amplify and share their expertise through the power of human collaboration. It makes knowledge transfer and skill augmentation faster and better by mapping in real-time unique knowledge and skill profiles of learners—matching them with the right expert at the right time. It also provides coaching and collaboration among experts within the platform to instantly enhance the quality of expert-to-learner responses.
MyMarkets: Meet consumers at the speed of now
The digital capabilities that unlock customers’ digital footprints also provide for organizations’ next big opportunity for customer interaction: adopting a momentary market approach. What does this mean? As people’s lives become more and more personalized through technology, companies must be able to move with agility to capture the opportunities within these moments, viewing each moment as if it is an individual market.
The Montréal-based Hopper mobile app uses data to provide AI-driven recommendations to its customers, offering them the best deals on flights and hotels, including the best moment to book.
Secure Us to Secure Me: Enterprises are not victims, they’re vectors
According to our research, 82% of Canadian executives agree that to be truly resilient, organizations must rethink their approach to security in a way that defends not just themselves, but their partners and customers. This mindset not only helps companies better prepare to handle attacks, it also differentiates them as trustworthy defenders, becoming more attractive partners for other businesses, governments and consumers alike.
The current race to quantum computing is directly related to security. Each country wants to be the first to develop the first (working) quantum computer in order to protect itself from foreign countries who would be able to crack their current encryption and security measures, with such a technology. In Quebec, many universities have put in place a research lab dedicated to quantum computing R&D. Last December, an INRS team has managed to achieve computational operations using very complex light-based quantic states, thus establishing an important milestone in quantum computing development.
With the onset of these powerful new technologies, hyper-personalization and on-demand services, it is critical to recognize that these new capabilities come with deeper responsibilities. Leaders must consider themselves guardians of the digital revolution, with a focus on embracing new technologies in an ethical way—recognizing that human values, such as trust and responsibility, are not just buzzwords but critical enablers of their success.
About the author
Tanya Nahorniak is a Managing Director in Accenture’ Technology practice, based out of Montréal.
With over 16 years of experience in large scale ERP transformations, Tanya has worked with a number of global consumer product and retail clients in North America. She has led multi-disciplinary teams, across multiple geographies to deliver transformative large-scale projects and run support organizations. She is also very passionate about technology and driving innovation with her clients.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. As a result, the Chamber cannot be held responsible for published content.