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Accenture Technology Vision 2012


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Accenture publishes its technology vision annually. It is a distillation of our extensive research over the course of the previous 12 months, the experiences of our research teams and the input of our clients. In it, we outline the emerging technology trends that forward-thinking CIOs will use to position their organizations to drive growth and high performance, rather than just focusing on cost-cutting and efficiency improvements.

Business leaders now accept that their organizations’ future success is bound up with their ability to keep pace with technology. CIOs have to play a key role in helping these business leaders recognize and seize the opportunities enabled by new trends—but the price of progress will have to be paid, along with new risks assumed.

We believe six technology trends will influence business over the next three to five years:

Context-based services. Where you are and what you are doing will drive the next wave of digital services.

Converging data architectures. Successfully rebalancing the data architecture portfolio and blending the structured with the unstructured are key to turning data into new streams of value.

Industrialized data services. The ability to share data will make it more valuable—but only if it is managed differently.

Social-driven IT. Realize that social is not just a bolt-on marketing channel. It will have true business-wide impact.

PaaS-enabled agility. The maturing platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market will shift the emphasis from cost-cutting to business innovation, supporting rapid evolution for business processes that need continuous change.

Orchestrated analytical security. Organizations will have to accept that their gates will be breached and begin preparing their second line of defense—data platforms—to mitigate the damage caused by attacks that get through.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Accenture Technology Vision 2012

  1. AccentureTechnologyVision2012
  2. ContentsForeword 2Introduction 3Technology Trends Context-based services 4 Converging data architectures 10 Industrialized data services 16 Social-driven IT 23 PaaS-enabled agility 29 Orchestrated analytical security 36Implications The CEO’s agenda 43 IT’s agenda 45Research methodology 48End notes 49Contacts 50
  3. Foreword Accenture Technology Vision 2012We bring the Accenture Technology Vision 2012 to you at atime of unprecedented change in the global economy and thetechnology landscape. Our clients tell us that technology ismore important than ever to their business success. Some ofthem sense that the world is on the verge of a new technologyrevolution. We agree.This next revolution will differ from previous It is time to focus on technology as a driver fordisruptions. This time, technology is present growth and take the bold decisions to movein every aspect of our lives. The lines between beyond IT’s legacy constraints—constraintsconsumer and corporate technology continue to that make it too difficult to change, tooblur. On-premise and off-premise technology are costly to pursue new opportunities.melding to drive much quicker processing—and The coming transformation journey—changing Pierre Nanterme Kevin Campbellfaster and better business results. The flexibility IT from roadblock to driver—won’t be easy. It Chief Executive Officer Group Chief Executive - Technologyof new technologies and architectures is forcing will call for a comprehensive strategy that leads Accenture Accentureus all to rethink how we harness IT to makeit easier for our organizations to innovate. to new architectures, new services, and new platforms. And it will demand prompt, disciplinedThe Accenture Technology Vision 2012 is execution to bring those new approaches to life.designed to help you identify these changes—tomake sense of the disruptions. But this year’s The technology that you use will be radicallyreport challenges companies to go a step different three years from now. Stand still andbeyond understanding—to start taking action. you risk being left behind. Act now and you willWe urge you to plan thoughtful, appropriate be poised for continued growth in the future.responses and seize new opportunities.2
  4. Introduction Accenture Technology Vision 2012Responding to what’s aheadSome drivers have an advantage over other CIOs are feeling the pressure of a bevy Increasingly, business leaders find that their Doing so means starting this journey togethermotorists: they can see around corners of technology forces—forces like the organizations’ success relies on keeping pace with the business. It demands detailedat night. With adaptive headlights in their superabundance of computing power with rapidly shifting technology. Companies discussions with the rest of the C-suite. It willcars—lamps that swivel a few degrees when and capacity and the soaring technology must be prepared to recognize and take call for CIOs to internalize these trends sothey detect that the car is turning—these expectations of consumers, employees, and advantage of new opportunities enabled by they can start framing these discussions—notdrivers can spot the deer in the road a even CEOs. Discussions on the impact of cloud new trends, like context-based services or talking about the technologies themselvesfew milliseconds before the rest of us. computing and mobility have become routine. social technologies. But the new moves will but about the impact they will have on the IT organizations are just beginning to wrap their come at a price. To change with the world business, and the new initiatives they can drive.To take prompt action, every CIO requires the minds around Big Data. They’re pushing to weave quickly and cost-effectively, there must be ainformation equivalent of adaptive headlights— analytics deeper into the organization. And new IT base—new architectures, new services, Some of you are already leading thosethe ability to identify relevant trends before some are asking themselves what to make of the new platforms. And with a new IT base come conversations with your business colleagues—others do. Indeed, they and their business perennial discussion of the Internet of Things. new risks and new precautions, so information and with your IT staff. For those who aren’t,colleagues need the clearest possible guidance security has to become a top agenda item. are you ready?about changes in information technologies. Yet even as CIOs begin to react, the list ofWith the right guidance, they can effectively change-making technologies continues to IT leaders must take action now. They must belead their organizations as they adapt to grow. Recognizing that forces such as the cloud the ones who lead their enterprises throughthe rapidly changing world we live in. are just the starting point, Accenture’s annual this turbulent new world. Inside 100 days Technology Vision provides our perspective of reading this report, they should have on the future of technology beyond the begun to map out their strategies to leverage conversations already on the table. This year’s these trends over the long haul. Within 12 report—Technology Vision 2012—outlines the months, they should be starting to execute new technology trends that forward-thinking these plans to put their enterprises on the CIOs will use to position their organizations path to new organizations, new processes, to drive growth, rather than focusing on new systems—even a new frame of mind. cost-cutting and efficiency improvements. 3
  5. Context-based servicesContext—where you are and what you’re doing—will drive the next wave of digital services4
  6. Trend 1 - Context-based services Accenture Technology Vision 2012
  7. Trend 1 - Context-based services Accenture Technology Vision 2012Forget about the much-discussed Internet of Things. The reallyinteresting news is that data from a host of new sources,combined with technologies that rapidly aggregate and analyzethe data, will deliver fresh insights that can give users much moreimmersive and valuable experiences online—and in the real world.Services that alert you to the nearest Starbucks mile radius or what route to walk from this meet the renter at the scene, greatly improvingor gas station just aren’t enough for users these subway stop to that unfamiliar office building. the chances of creating a loyal customer for life).days. Those services don’t “know” you; they Today, we have ready access to enough historical CIOs and other IT leaders who get it—whodon’t know what you’re trying to do right now. and real-time data and we know enough about grasp the importance of context-basedWhat can still attract users? Services that what is happening in enough places to be able to connections—will be able to establishcombine real-time signals from the physical offer services that are enabling and entertaining. themselves, and their organizations, as strategicworld with location data, online activities, social More data, by itself, isn’t enough—technology players. They will immediately be able to offermedia, and many other types of contextual now enables rapid aggregation of data from new levels of insight that will differentiateinputs. It might be support for a pharmaceutical multiple sources and delivers new insights their organizations from competitors.sales rep tailored to the context of the doctors that can give users much more immersive andshe will be meeting and the drugs she’s selling. It valuable experiences. The key—beyond the What context-based services aren’tcould be data made available to a technician at proliferation of data and the ability to analyze It’s important to deflect any misconceptionsan oil refinery, customized to the equipment he’s it every which way—is to ensure that context about context-based data services. To beginservicing and what its downtime history looks enables the services that make sense right with, they are not about “really cool” mobilelike. Or it might be a shopping app that gives a at the point where an action takes place. In phone handsets—regardless of how much theircustomer fast access to more information about effect, context allows organizations to shift new apps may impress. Although devices such asa new jacket whose quick response (QR) code their focus from insight (for example, business mobiles are indeed essential vehicles for some ofshe’s scanned in the store; tells her how far she travelers place a premium on the ease and those services, that is all they are. Mobility is justis from stores that carry other sizes of the jacket; speed of interaction when choosing rental car one of many factors that help to convey context.alerts her to her available credit balance; and companies) to actionable insight (streamlininggets instant opinions, via Facebook, from her the car rental process allows frequent renters Nor are context-based services all about thefriends about whether they like the jacket or not. to avoid lines, thus increasing customer loyalty) cloud. It’s true that connected devices—mobile to insight at the point of action (for instance, and otherwise—will exchange data with cloud-The new high ground for data services is not in the rental company automatically detects when based service providers, but the cloud is nothinglocation-based apps. It is in a kaleidoscope of an accident with one of its cars has happened, more than a logical data-aggregation point.context that adds up to rich user experiences— proactively initiates emergency services if Similarly, “context-based” is not synonymousfar more alluring than simple indications of needed, and issues a replacement rental car to with “location-based.” The importance of beinghow many friends are inside the same one-6
  8. Trend 1 - Context-based services Accenture Technology Vision 2012able to integrate data from the physical worldbeyond location—inputs from QR codes are only The next few years are likely to see an expansion in the volumes and types of sensors available the retailer and the original producer but for others in the shopper’s social network as well. What it means forone example—must not be underestimated. Andcontext is not just another example of social to add context. The industrial world already benefits from radio frequency ID (RFID) systems Given richer context—access to the shopper’s interests, shopping history, or age, perhaps— the businessmedia, although social certainly adds context in which RFID-tagged items supply contextualsuch as shared interests or opinions. It’s in data about their locations, time, temperature, providers will offer services that better align • New products and services based onthe aggregation of all of these things that we and much more. Now we anticipate a rush with his needs and wants. Indeed, we expect context from inside and outside of thetruly see the power of context-based services. of specialty devices that will excel in niche that products, services, retailers, and enterprises enterpriseThey create an experience that adds levels of areas—health monitors that test for blood will be differentiated based on their abilityutility and richness—and yes, complexity—that sugar levels, for instance, or wristbands that to meet users’ requirements in this way. • New contextual data services thatwere not possible even just a few years ago. transmit signals about a patient’s activity The power of context will enrich not only online enable companies to more easily add levels to mobile-linked health care systems interactions but real-world ones as well. Today, capabilities to their existing productsContext-based services that that add context about family health history online shopping experiences have surpassedtranscend mobile apps to enable patients to improve their own health what is usually available in the physical world; • New capabilities to experiment with care. Apple’s latest iPhone, for instance, it is possible to view different colors, styles, new services and iterate quickly basedContext-based services have existed in contains Bluetooth Smart technology—a on pilots sizes, and availability of merchandise; to putrudimentary forms for some time; to an extent, new standard that supports connections to shopping carts on hold; to pay in many differentthey are evident in the Internet of Things—for sensors that consume very little power. ways; to redeem coupons easily; and more. Theinstance, in the real-time readings on pace next few years will see a push toward mergingand time that marathon runners receive from The power of context the physical and virtual shopping experiences.a transmitter tag laced to a shoe. They are One other source of context is in what is Blippar, for example, offers augmented realityalso apparent in the recommendation engines shared—which is where blogs, chat rooms, capabilities that allow retailers to experimentused by sites such as Amazon, Netflix, and message boards, social media, product with doing just that today. And ShopkickLinkedIn. Recommendation software not reviews, and the countless other wells of enriches the in-store shopping experience withonly keeps track of your personalized history online data come in. We can detect or infer personalized offers, highlights products thatand uses it to infer interests; today, it can certain information about others based on our others have liked, and rewards customers forproduce suggestions based on what others interactions with them or, even more simply, walking into selected stores. The reward forin your social circle or professional group we can give them the opportunity to share walking in is just the bait; the context pieceare doing. For instance, if other users in your it themselves. It turns out that users readily comes from location (knowing you’re in thenetwork are reading a popular business book, share meaningful personal context; they just store), understanding interests and intenta site may propose that you purchase it, need to have a compelling reason to do so. (scanning an item you’re thinking about), andtoo—and provide a one-click link to do so. social connections (knowing what others liked).And of course many phones—they do not So when a retailer provides QR codes in its stores, it enables the shopper to access new The emergence of more context-basedeven have to fit the definition of Web- and valuable sources of information about a services will have a compounding— thoseready smartphones that access vast stores product or service. Because this is something the new services themselves provide additionalof apps—have location-sensing capabilities consumer wasn’t able to do before—or wasn’t sources of context. The expanding richnessthat provide their users with useful able to do with such ease and reliability—he is of context will be a fast-moving capabilityproximity data, route planning, and more. willing to trade some personal data in exchange. that enterprises will need to watch. That data in turn becomes valuable not only for 7
  9. Trend 1 - Context-based services Accenture Technology Vision 2012This time next year “CIOs and other IT leaders who get it—whoOver the next 12 months, the IT grasp the importance of context-basedorganization should: connections—will be able to establish• Create strong links with business functions that directly influence the themselves, and their organizations, as consumer experience. strategic players. They will immediately• Compile a firm list of context-based services that is regularly updated be able to offer new levels of insight that as circumstances change—and that forms the basis of discussion with will differentiate their organizations from the business side in order to drive the platform for context across the competitors.” enterprise. What’s possible they use. The banks benefit because they can• Form a pilot team that blends user reduce the considerable costs of confirming a experience specialists with data Several interesting examples show how customer’s location abroad and reimbursing for scientists to experiment with new context-based services may unfold. The any fraudulent withdrawals from an account.2 contextual data services. service from a company called scans Twitter accounts in search of mentions of However, it is still early days for context-based• Establish an environment that enables planned trips; with the information it gleans, services. Current services barely scratch the experimentation—rapid development, it enables hotels to contact travelers who surface of what’s truly possible. Although planning, and deployment. have indicated that they are heading to their many of the technology challenges are being vicinity. In another case, several mobile phone overcome, and although contextual data and• Begin developing a data platform to services providers are experimenting with the means to synthesize it have reached critical handle contextual data and analytics, technology that automatically deactivates mass, other hurdles remain. For instance, privacy including appropriate privacy controls phones while their owners are driving.1 issues are likely to make headlines soon as on potentially sensitive personal privacy watchdogs jump in to defend against information. And Misys, a provider of IT solutions for the unauthorized tracking of citizens or consumers. financial services sector, is working to combat In the United States, consumer advocacy groups• Develop a data roadmap to depict how bank fraud with GeoGuard, its new consumer are particularly vocal about such issues. to acquire the critical data necessary location-based offering running on the Force. for the next generation of context- com platform. GeoGuard collates geographic The skills needed to deliver context based services. information and enables customers to allow their banks to request their most recent So what will it take for IT departments to help location information, regardless of the services their organizations deliver rich context-based8
  10. Trend 1 - Context-based services Accenture Technology Vision 2012experiences to their customers? Context-basedservices should be limited only by the creativity Context-based services require very different thinking from IT leaders. They call for a Your 100-day planof the business, not by IT’s ability to deliver. much broader and more dynamic view of the possibilities for adding value for the business, Suggested actions to take during the nextIt should go without saying that skills in user and they demand different skills and stronger three months:interface design will be high on the list. At links within the enterprise than has beenthe same time, it will be beneficial to have typical to date. But those who grasp the • Identify ways to drive the discussionexpertise in the design of high-quality customer importance of these connections will quickly toward the value of context; launchexperiences, whether you’re a retailer, a utility, or establish themselves as strategic players. discussions of new context-drivena product manufacturer. One individual should opportunities with the business charged with the responsibility of overseeingcustomer interactions across all channels. • Start thinking in terms of multipleFor example, the Washington Post publishing channels and following the mix ofcompany recently appointed a chief experience interactions that they enable (Webofficer, as did Cleveland Clinic some years ago. page to Facebook to retail to mobile...).Also needed: strong management discipline • Start cataloging the contextual datato get the best results from a mix of IT on hand.traditionalists and creative user-experiencetypes. Orchestration skills will be essential • Start identifying new sources of datafor helping to handle the complex array of and determining how to acquire itinternal systems, not to mention the vendors (sometimes it must be bought, andnow populating the data services market, sometimes new mechanisms will bewhere some forms of context will originate. needed to collect it in current systems).Because new sources of context are constantlypopping up—and because there are always new • Sketch out the user experience skillsuse cases, new services, new players, and new needed to pilot context-based services.customer needs—context-based services will alsocall for skills that encourage experimentation. • Plan an environment forAnd they’ll require real flexibility and fast- experimentation.paced ways of working because context that isconstantly in flux will lead to a need for agile • Draft ideas for how to leverage theservices that change as quickly as users do. IT technology that customers bring withpractitioners who are geared to traditional IT them.cycle times will not be prime candidates forthe new roles needed; they’re unlikely to havewhat it takes to get the best from the newworld of context and from an ever-changingmix of widely distributed contextual data. 9
  11. Converging data architecturesIt’s not about the “big” in Big Data—dataarchitectures must bridge the old and the new10
  12. Trend 2 - Converging data architectures Accenture Technology Vision 2012
  13. Trend 2 - Converging data architectures Accenture Technology Vision 2012Old approaches to data survive because structured forms ofdata make IT leaders feel they’re in control. But new approachesto managing unstructured data provide a whole new notionof control—the ability to turn data into new streams of value.Successfully rebalancing the data architecture portfolio andblending the structured with the unstructured are key tounlocking that value.In 2011, even a casual reading of the technology the status quo facing off against a maverick Three changes that mattermedia indicated that big changes were starting camp that is enthusiastically—perhaps over-to sweep through the IT department—whether enthusiastically—seeing unstructured approaches There are three fundamental data architectureIT leaders recognized it or not. Big Data—the to data as a panacea for all that ails IT today. technology changes that, individually andcatchall term for the explosion in volumes and collectively, have significant implications fortypes of data and the technologies emerging to Neither stance is appropriate. Yes, what’s IT leaders. We foresee a rebalancing of thesupport it—was already making big headlines. emerging is a new world of horizontally scaling, database landscape as data architects embraceConference speeches and trade press articles had unstructured databases that are better at the fact that relational databases are no longerbegun the conversation about the importance solving some old problems. More importantly, the only tool in the toolkit. We anticipateof distributed data and the idea of data as a they’re prompting us to think of new problems “bridge technologies” that will mix old and newservice. New technologies such as Apache to solve whose resolution was never attempted database forms. And we fully expect advancesHadoop—a software framework that supports before, because it just couldn’t be done. (Don’t from the new to re-invigorate the old. In short,data-intensive distributed applications— misunderstand the “big” in Big Data—for most we expect tomorrow’s conversations aboutwere already gathering momentum. In our enterprises it’s not about finding ways to handle data architectures to center on rebalancing,Technology Vision 2011 report, we pointed out massive amounts of Facebook or e-mail data.) coexistence, and cross-pollination.that companies needed to start conceiving of But that does not imply “rip and replace”; in no way does it render traditional databases obsolete. IT leaders should be evaluating their datadata platforms in ways that better encompass The truth is that now that we have technologies portfolios for opportunities to rebalance thethe idea of data as the strategic IT asset. that can deal with different types of data, there use of relational and nonrelational databases.Some enterprises are experimenting with data is enormous value in maximizing the value of Today’s data architects now have more choicesplatform approaches, but it hasn’t been easy. In the data in existing systems—in hybridizing for solving unstructured data problems thanfact, there has been something of a polarization, it with many forms of unstructured data. simply jury-rigging relational databases towith many of those steeped in traditional do so. Where today the data landscape isrelational database approaches defending almost entirely relational, we expect that12
  14. Trend 2 - Converging data architectures Accenture Technology Vision 2012landscape to change significantly. Over the nextdecade, the proportion that is nonrelational pollination is already happening at the vendor level. Nonrelational databases were the first to development for several decades. Approaches to structuring information, gathering data What it means forwill rise. It has been estimated that between15 percent and 40 percent of all relational integrate horizontal scaling technologies into the core; now relational databases are starting requirements, storing data, and even solving data problems are driven by a view of the the businessdatabase management systems (RDBMS) to do the same. There is no shortage of start-up world adopted from structured designimplementations would be better suited to activity in the arena, meaning that investment approaches and the trusty relational database. • Potential advantage for small andnonrelational platforms.3 But that shift does capital is betting on cross-pollination; midsize competitors since they lacknot imply that relational is somehow inferior. newcomers include Xeround, Scalr, Akiban, and This structured view of the world is entrenched the “anchor” of heavy investments inIT leaders will need to make their choices Schooner. As these technologies reach maturity, in organizations. Many CIOs still think of legacy systemsbased not on ideology but on the forms of enterprises should re-evaluate their readiness themselves not as the stewards of data but asdata they are using and for what purposes. to tackle more complex data problems. the data “owners.” And to a worrying extent, • More accurate and more usable many senior IT managers remain convinced business projections through theThe worlds of structured and unstructured data Established vendors don’t plan to be left out that all forms of data can still be dealt with expanded use of probabilistic data,are rapidly converging. Leading IT practitioners of the new world. Just a few glimpses: Oracle using conventional relational databases, so enabled by new data platformsmust find ways to constructively manage has marched into the unstructured world by they are unwilling to try other options. Inthe convergence and enable all forms of data announcing its Hadoop-framework-based Big many cases, the resistance is passive: stay the • IT moves from blocker to enabler,management to coexist, sometimes using Data Appliance. IBM has built a new version present course, ignore Big Data, and it will improving the leverage of all availablebridge technologies. That’s the case at one large of InfoSphere BigInsights for its smart cloud go away. In other cases, the pushback is that data, both external and internal to thehigh-tech company that is using Hadoop to infrastructure that uses Hadoop to analyze the new technologies are “toy technologies”— organizationprocess and import data into traditional systems structured and unstructured data. And not considered “enterprise grade.” In effect,in ways that wouldn’t be possible with just Microsoft recently announced plans to deliver the traditional relational database has been • Faster responses to queries, and morethe RDBMS approach. In essence, the Hadoop enterprise-class Hadoop-based distributions misused for decades because it has been frequent and increasingly customizedframework becomes a preprocessing engine on both Windows Server and Windows Azure. seen as the only tool in the toolbox—and iterations on those queriesfor analyzing raw data to extract important The shifts in vendors’ thinking are also seen because IT departments haven’t had theevents before feeding the other systems. It in consolidation moves as established players vision and skills to use it in any other way. See also “What it means for the business” inis abstracted and integrated with existing acknowledge that they must move into these Industrialized data services.reporting in such a way that it minimizes new realms. For example, Teradata acquired Aster Yet we’re seeing the rapid rise of another group—the impact on the rest of the enterprise. Data Systems, a leader in Big Data analytics. The the iconoclasts who are scraping unstructured acquisition was designed to expand Teradata’s data off Web sites, wikis, and Twitter feeds inOver the long term, the high-performing portfolio and bring businesses greater depth order to find insights that can help them discoverorganizations will be those whose IT groups of analytic insight and faster time to value as new customer segments, identify new productrecognize the need for coexistence and they unlock the full potential of their Big Data. directions, and more. These individuals are veryeffectively marry the two worlds to get the most much in touch with the Web-scale companiesfrom their data. IT leaders must still be realistic What’s complicating change that are already big names in the consumerabout the limits of what can be achieved via realm—companies such as Google, Amazon,bridge technologies, sometimes waiting instead Unfortunately, old IT habits die hard. Facebook, and Twitter. They are often pluggedfor the next generation of data technologies Legacy thinking prevails. Existing views into the open-source movement and to thewhere cross-pollination between the structured of data architecture are a product of the academic and other research communities thatand unstructured worlds will fill gaps. This cross- application lens that’s been applied to system surround these Web-scale companies. For them, 13
  15. Trend 2 - Converging data architectures Accenture Technology Vision 2012This time next year the unstructured data milieu is something rich and new and fun and cool that they want to play certainly have to evaluate and implement bridge technologies. For instance, Aster with—and that can deliver real business results. Data’s SQL-MapReduce helps IT departmentsOver the next 12 months, the IT deal with their lack of skills in nontraditionalorganization should: At JPMorgan Chase, for example, many lines database management until they have built up of business now use a Hadoop shared service that capability. Bridge technologies leverage• Run data platform trials that leverage for jobs ranging from extract, transform, and existing investments; they will not immediately structured and unstructured data—with load (ETL) processing and fraud investigation to disrupt existing IT operations and are unlikely data in the platform and in use by one or social media sentiment analysis.4 The service also to unsettle the relational database adherents. more business processes. provides low-cost storage for varied types of Deeper conversations with the software data; for instance, it stores traditional financial vendor community can help to accelerate records and semi-structured Web logs as well as• Create a list of other business the introduction of bridge technologies. unstructured text and social comment feeds. processes that can begin to leverage We expect that the rebalancing will happen data in the platform. Oil and gas companies are using SAP’s HANA as a slow evolution as IT departments in-memory appliance to review massive amounts retire applications and start to replatform• Create a tangible, funded roadmap, of their raw exploration data. Utilities are using in the cloud, on mobile devices, and using subsequent to successful trials, to it to analyze large volumes of data from smart bridge approaches. Rebalancing is likely to expand replatforming to a growing meters and to optimize energy generation achieve strong momentum where there are amount of data and other business based on predictive patterns of consumption.5 the most gains to be made—in customer- activities. To a large extent, the maverick groups that are facing business processes, for example.• Appoint a top-level executive who is quite comfortable with all things Web scale Forward-thinking CIOs will make strong responsible for an overarching data- are working in fields such as marketing, new business cases for new investments in select centric perspective—perhaps even product development, and customer relations, systems to accelerate the retirement of existing appoint a chief data officer. but as they derive new data and new scraps of software. They will need to identify “burning insight, they are increasingly recognizing the platforms” that they can use as spurs for• Create a recruiting pipeline for data need to work with IT to get actionable outputs their new initiatives; a prime example would specialists in areas such as alternative from what they’re producing. Forward-looking be a business process that can benefit from database technologies and analytics. CIOs will want to hire those mavericks. being able to concurrently and rapidly access multiple forms of data from a host of sources,• Demonstrate a “data stewardship” How to think about the both external and internal to the organization. mentality rather than one of three underlying changes Over time, of course, concern about the ownership. We predict that, increasingly, the effectiveness balance between relational and nonrelational will eventually become a tactical detail. of IT leaders will be gauged by their ability toSee also “This time next year” in Industrializeddata services. bridge the gap between the structured and Furthermore, as CIOs envision how they can unstructured worlds. Again, the important thing foster coexistence between structured and is that this must not be an exercise in “rip and unstructured forms of data, they will need replace.” CIOs who are serious about enabling to resist popular notions that the Big Data the coexistence of all forms of data will almost14
  16. Trend 2 - Converging data architectures Accenture Technology Vision 2012“The rebalancing of data architectures Old approaches to data survive because structured forms of data make IT leaders feel Your 100-day plan will happen as a slow evolution as IT they are in control. But it’s time to reframe the whole notion of control. It’s time to stop viewing Suggested actions to take during the next departments retire applications and start to data as a means to an end—a platform that is designed to support an application—and start three months: replatform in the cloud, on mobile devices, seeing it as an underutilized asset. CIOs cannot stop or slow change as the fundamental trends • Identify the “burning platforms” among the organization’s business processes that and using bridge approaches. It is likely to toward rebalancing, coexistence, and cross- pollination proceed. But there is so much that can become the vehicles for change. achieve strong momentum where there are they can do to prepare for those changes. • Map out individuals on the business side who are current “data owners.” the most gains to be made—in customer- • Map available IT skills in light of facing business processes, for example.” the need to rebalance database approaches.“revolution” is all about victory over SQL. Many to think in terms of reskilling. If IT groups • Draft new methodologies for datavoices push forward the idea that scale is the have professionals who know only relational design in new projects.driving reason why relational databases won’t databases, they will perpetuate the “everythingbe used in the future. But that’s not universally is a nail” problem. The IT leaders themselves • Assess where current approaches aren’ttrue and not always applicable; the arguments will need to play the roles of orchestrators— meeting enterprise needs (for example,about scale serve as a distraction from the main adept generalists who excel at managing where data integration is fragile orissue. In practice, a lot of the conversation about disparate sources and forms of data to create where replication is unmanageable)Big Data is not necessarily about its “bigness.” a symphony of new business possibilities. and sketch out early retirement ofVery few organizations are going to need the applications wherever needs are nottype of scale that often makes the Big Data At the same time, there will need to be individual experts with skills in areas that being met.headlines. So, far from rendering the relationaldatabase obsolete, the new advances will be realistically do not exist in the traditional IT world—for instance, specialists in alternative • Begin listing opportunities to provideincorporated over time into the traditional database technologies who understand which new value-added data services.databases, extending their performance. to use in which circumstances. IT departments See also “Your 100-day plan” in IndustrializedNew skills, new structure will probably post vacancies for specialists data services. with statistical and analytical skills; in general,for IT departments there will have to be a steady rise in theWith an eye on the long term, CIOs will analytic literacy of the IT group. And as morehave to think in terms of restructuring their of these kinds of specialty skills come onorganizations. As a starting point, most board, and as they reshape the interactionsenterprises need to build better data architecture with the business side, the orchestratorsskills across the board. They will also have will become more and more influential. 15
  17. Industrialized data servicesFreedom to share data will make data morevaluable—but only if it’s managed differently16
  18. Trend 3 - Industrialized data services Accenture Technology Vision 2012
  19. Trend 3 - Industrialized data services Accenture Technology Vision 2012Now that data is being decoupled, enterprises are using it inmany different ways to unlock far more of its potential value.They’re actively hunting for other useful data—outside theirorganizations as well as inside—while keeping their eyes openfor opportunities to share their data. But most early data-sharing activities are ad hoc. Needed next: fresh approaches todata management.You’ve got a problem if, several years from now, The outcome: companies are rapidly creating As things stand, most companies have some wayyour IT organization is still organized chiefly patchwork quilts of data integration systems to go before they fully grasp the implicationsaround applications. whose sheer randomness and variety is of decoupling data and then sharing it across leading to inefficiency and complexity the enterprise. The tendency is still to treat theThese days, data should be free to roam, and that is unsustainable. Put simply, increased emerging opportunities as data integrationthat is a very good thing. Once unshackled from sharing of data through data services calls projects—as point solutions, not as ongoingthis or that application, it can be moved, shared for a radical rethinking of how IT should data services. After working lifetimes spent inwith alliance partners or suppliers, divided up, handle data management. Data management complete control of how and when their dataanalyzed every which way, blended with other shifts from being an IT capability buried is stored, accessed, archived, and destroyed, it’sdata—whatever it takes to unlock much more within application support to a collaborative not easy for many IT managers to accept thatof its potential value. And that’s exactly what effort of IT and business leaders working they must now collaborate with others withsome far-sighted organizations are doing now. in tandem that enables data to be used far whom they share “ownership” of their data.But freedom isn’t free. There are hidden costs beyond the applications that created properly valuing and managing data now Industrializing the approach In the next few years, we believe, leadingthat it can be decoupled. Most organizations’ to sharing data organizations will master the types of dataefforts to share data broadly are ad hoc. Let’s management necessary to strike the right Accenture’s Technology Vision 2011 reportsay the marketing group is grabbing data from balance between constraint and freedom for identified decoupling as a wide-scale trendthe customer relationship management (CRM) their data, based on a clear-eyed view of the worth watching—and doing something about,system so it can study recent loyalty trends. real value of the data. They will start to think especially as it relates to data. Many enterprisesThe system it sets up to capture, stage, and in terms of industrializing the sharing of data. are starting to recognize that their data has valuestore the data is probably entirely different beyond its original purpose. More companiesfrom the system that the finance department are beginning to engage in richer data sharingcreates when using the same data sets to as analytics increases their appetite for morecalculate, say, customer retention costs. data and drives them to better utilize existing18
  20. Trend 3 - Industrialized data services Accenture Technology Vision 2012data. In the financial services sector, for instance,enterprises are fusing customer data, finance anchored by an agile data services architecture. According to chief executive Jeff Bezos, the data management. By creating an abstraction layer between data and applications, IT has the What it means fordata, and risk data to spur development of newproducts. In the process, organizations like advances in data management developed by his company’s engineers were the starting point opportunity to standardize and industrialize data management. In this model, consumption the businessthese are creating, formally or informally, new for the architectures that underlie the cloud of the data is what matters, not managementdata services to respond to the opportunities. storage and data management services offered of it. The path toward centralization • Broader opportunities to leverage by Amazon Web Services.6 Amazon’s CTO, becomes easier and more cost-effective. data—both internal and external toA virtuous cycle comes into play. The emergence Werner Vogels, has mentioned that Amazon’s the organization—to gain insights thatof the data platform will enable organizations Interestingly, this new world of data sharing is an loosely coupled services model enables the can enrich new product development,to expose more data as a service, accelerating about-face for systems administrators who have company to respond very quickly to new ideas.7 strengthen customer loyalty, and morethe trend. It is starting to break down data silos traditionally been charged with owning the data.and hide the complexity of underlying storage As the horizontal-scaling technologies of these Under the data-sharing model, the concept of • Increased agility to respond muchand access. As a result, sharing and integration pioneers spread to mainstream business, they data ownership is no longer valid. By its nature, faster to data-driven opportunitiesget easier as at least some barriers are removed. have been open-sourced, improved, and made the more data is shared, the more value theToday, these data services are being built on an ready for the enterprise. Previously, it has been company sees. So, instead of ownership, CIOs • More accurate and more usableas-needed basis as new use cases are discovered. necessary to “overprovision” a resource; now, must begin to think about data responsibility business projections through theDecisions about sharing data—and the chances data services enable users to provision for today as well as data accountability. For the most expanded use of probabilistic data,of a business process owner knowing where and expand when they need more. So, on day part, data accountability is familiar ground: enabled by new data platformsto find useful data in the organization – are one, the sales organization doesn’t need to CIOs will still be squarely charged with layingone-offs. How does the production manager anticipate all possible data consumers for the the groundwork for data design, governance, • New discussions of data’s value andwho needs better forecasts find the sales order tracking system and doesn’t have to invest and implementation. IT will be accountable for decisions about how to charge for itsanalyst whose market research data fills in in infrastructure for users that don’t yet exist. creating a centralized mechanism for how data is usegaps in projections? But the continued push managed throughout systems and IT processes.toward data platforms will soon enable this A new era of data management See also “What it means for the business” in However, things shift from the traditional Converging data happen at scale—“scale” not in terms of It has always been difficult to provide business when data starts flowing through the system,accommodating colossal volumes of data but users with the data they need to make effective becoming more and more distributed throughoutin terms of industrialization, where a structured decisions. At every stage, the siloed nature of the company. Business units from all overplatform approach enables such decisions to data tied directly to applications has thwarted the enterprise will be creating, consuming,be made over and over again consistently. IT’s efforts to manage data consistently across and sharing data with each other, making itTo a large extent, enterprises can do this the organization. Data management efforts important to focus on data responsibility. Whobecause there have been dramatic advances must be duplicated for each silo, driving the is responsible for the data at each stage of itsin the technologies and capabilities used to cost up and ROI down—think North American life cycle? The shift has, essentially, resulted inmanage, process, and store data. Many of versus Asia-Pacific sales, perhaps, or different the creation of a data supply chain. It will be upthese have been incubated by Web pioneers product groups for hair care and for skin care. to the CIO to start working with business unitssuch as Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, and Netflix, Taking data management from good to great to coordinate data responsibility from creationrather than traditional technology vendors. often becomes an unappealing exercise after to distribution, more as if they were managingEssentially, the pioneers developed solutions the third or fourth implementation. A data- the end-to-end manufacture of a bicycle thanfor their own data-management challenges. sharing model, by its nature, will accelerate a workflow of electronic ones and zeros. companies toward the notion of centralizedFor instance, Amazon’s service-oriented model is 19
  21. Trend 3 - Industrialized data services Accenture Technology Vision 2012This time next year “Put simply, increased sharing of dataOver the next 12 months, the IT through data services calls for a radicalorganization should:• “Re-architect” the organizational rethinking of how IT should handle structure to gear it toward data services. data management. Essentially, data• Create and fill new roles: Senior role management shifts from being an IT in charge of data management, along with data scientists, data curators, and capability buried within application others. support to a collaborative effort that• Organize active, ongoing discussions with business functions about new data enables data to be used far beyond services needed.• Develop a basic internal data exchange. the applications that created it.”• Run data platform trials that leverage One data-management mechanism that Figuring out the value of data structured and unstructured data—with will likely become more popular is the data exchange—a forum where data can be published However, before data can be shared—even data in the platform and in use by one and accessed. Some organizations are already informally—it has to be valued. Today, we or more business processes. trying out rudimentary data exchanges internally. think about the value of data in terms of• Develop a reusable framework for We believe that these kinds of exchanges will what is required to store it. In the future, data valuation that can guide data grow organically within organizations, and the value of data will be determined when management decisions. best practices will begin to materialize in the it is used, in terms of its potential business next year or two. A next step would involve impact. (See The dimensions of data• Create a list of other business processes “open” data exchanges—exposing data to and value.) Organizations need to create a data that can begin to leverage data in the seeking data from external partners such as management strategy to support the data platform. suppliers and customers. Of course, publishing services that make sense for them, considering data to open data exchanges will not suit every the dimensions of data value and tying them• Create a tangible, funded roadmap, organization or every piece of data. And there to a broader set of envisaged use cases. subsequent to successful trials, to expand replatforming to a growing is nothing yet that is clearly destined to evolve Traditional approaches to data management amount of data and other business into a kind of New York Stock Exchange for data. have viewed it as a cost center to be controlled; activities. today’s technology, tools, and practices reflectSee also “This time next year” in Converging that goal. A new approach will encouragedata architectures. organizations to think in terms of trying to squeeze every bit of value from the data.20
  22. Trend 3 - Industrialized data services Accenture Technology Vision 2012As yet, there is little concrete guidance for howto value data across the entire organization— Rethinking the organization structure and skills needed the business. Industrializing these data sharing and data management approaches will be key Your 100-day planlet alone across the ecosystem of suppliers, to enabling the business to unlock data value.customers, and other stakeholders who may One central challenge for IT leaders is how to Suggested actions to take during the nextneed to use it, at least at some time or another. support the shift to data sharing. Forward- three months:The more widely a data set is used, the more thinking IT leaders will move quickly to “re-valuable it becomes. But how do you assign architect” their organizations in support of • Identify the “burning platforms” amongworth to it when it is combined with other data services. Should IT’s data specialists even the organization’s business processesdata? Or split up? Or used multiple times over reside within IT, or should they be integrated that can become the vehicles formany years? Or when it might be at risk of with line-of-business functions? That’s the change.being misappropriated? Not all data is valued kind of question that CIOs, together withpositively; viewed in terms of security, some the CEO’s office, must be able to answer. • Assess where current approaches aren’tpersonally identifiable customer data, for meeting enterprise needs (for example,instance, could conceivably have negative value. Central to those moves will be a hard look where data integration is fragile or at the skills required. The more that data is where replication is unmanageable)As a rule, we expect data that concerns shared, the more there is a case to be made and sketch out early retirement ofcustomers to be of high value. But even for a chief data officer position. We’re already applications wherever needs are notthere, few, if any, active conversations are seeing new job titles such as data curator, being met.under way about how to assign value to, data scientist, and data steward. The curatorfor example, CRM data that could be used will be the “product manager” for a set of • Map individuals on the business sideto improve market share, benefit customer data, responsible for its proper valuation but who are current “data owners.”loyalty ratings, and reduce customer retention also managing the services that share it. Thecosts. Or imagine an electrical utility that uses scientist will be the next-generation analytics • Begin promoting the CIO as theelectrical consumption information from its professional, responsible for turning the data facilitator of discussions about dataoperations data to propose time-shifting deals into insight. And data stewards will be latter- services.for certain customers—incentivizing them day database administrators (DBAs). In general,to use power when the utility has a surplus we expect an evolution and proliferation • Map available IT skills in light ofand conserve it when demand is high. of data roles, with data management skills the need to rebalance database becoming much more dispersed than they are approaches.New data valuation approaches will also today, as has happened with programming.influence the ways that data is stored, shared,published, secured, and destroyed. Do we save • Sketch out a preliminary blueprint for a Businesses are actively hunting for ways toeverything under the assumption that it will data management organization. extract value from their data. As this drivessoon be useful to somebody somewhere? Or just an increase in data sharing, IT leaders will See also “Your 100-day plan” in Convergingthe data that we guess will be most valuable? find that a one-size-fits-all approach to data data architectures.What rules govern the deletion of data? A plant management will not work. They’ll need to looksupervisor can’t simply archive machine data for ways to centralize the processes and toolsfrom a production line if it’s now critical for for data management. At the same time, theother business processes, such as new product notion of data ownership must become moreengineering or analysis of product recalls. distributed, involving data consumers across 21
  23. Trend 3 - Industrialized data services Accenture Technology Vision 2012The dimensions of data valueData-savvy CIOs understand the impracticality • tility U • Usageandsharingrestrictions • upport Sof trying to build frameworks that enable Our notion of data utility is a cornerstone Are there any restrictions, such as In situations where the data isthem to put actual dollar values on data. of data value. The concepts of quality, confidentiality or regulations, on how acquired or purchased from a third provenance, freshness, and so on all play the data can be used, shared, stored, party, will the data be “supported” byWith that in mind, Accenture has key roles in determining the value of data. and so on? The more restrictions on the that third party? If not, then the datadeveloped these qualitative guidelines: data, the less valuable it may become—it will have limited long-term value. • Uniquenessorexclusivity becomes more of a liability than an asset. Is the data unique or exclusive? Is access For example, the many restrictions and • Consumerdemand to the data controlled and owned by a regulations on personally identifiable Ultimately, the value of data will be few (meaning that it’s proprietary data) information severely limit the value of this influenced by consumer demand, or is it available publicly? For example, type of data for those that possess it. and this demand will be driven by call logs are exclusively owned by the whether the data impacts business telcos, but government census data is • Usabilityandintegration functions such as improving operational available to anyone who wants it. How easy is it to use and integrate efficiency, enabling better forecasting, the data from a data consumer’s increasing market penetration or • Easeofproduction perspective? If the data (assuming customer engagement, and so on. How easy or difficult is it to “produce” it’s external) can be easily used (and (collect, assemble, etc.) the data? This integrated) with internal data, then it is dimension is orthogonal to the previous more valuable than data that cannot. one. For example, sentiment data on a company’s products is all over the • rustworthiness T Web, but producing this data is difficult, Here, we define trustworthiness not in because sentiment information is terms of the data itself (that dimension widely dispersed, locked in unstructured is covered by “utility”) but in terms of text, and hence difficult to extract. the sources and processes used to create the data. If these sources and processes are questionable (or even illegal), then the resulting data becomes a pariah that very few will touch, even though the data itself is extremely accurate. 22
  24. Social-driven ITSocial isn’t just a bolt-on marketing channel—itwill transform interactions in the business world23
  25. Trend 4 - Social-driven IT Accenture Technology Vision 2012
  26. Trend 4 - Social-driven IT Accenture Technology Vision 2012Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other forms of social media arenot just new communication channels to customers. They arepowerful catalysts that are changing the ways your customers,employees, and partners use technology to interact with theworld around them. Most organizations have yet to catch up tothat reality, and almost none take full advantage of it. They must.Who doesn’t have a Facebook page? more efficiently, and with better outcomes. directly to him to address it before he calls to They will also see value in using enterprise social complain. At the same time, enterprises needThe social media trend has swept across the platforms for connections with and among to be on the lookout for opportunities to inventworld with breathtaking speed—and with employees—and even among enterprises. new channels through social, such as socialastonishing impact. In the United States, polling via WayIn or Yahoo’s IntoNow.Facebook is largely supplanting e-mail and text The opportunity is to capture, measure, analyze,as the primary tool for communicating with and exploit these social interactions in new ways. The challenge for IT managers, then, will befriends. Social media has become de rigueur It means that social media must be seen as much to revisit business processes and the systemsfor businesses too—although mostly as an more than a new “bolt on” channel; it has to be that implement them. They will need to lookadd-on marketing tool. And in more and more viewed as a catalyst for revisiting everything across channels to define interactions. Theyinstances, online forums and Twitter feeds are that touches a company’s customers and, must look at new forms of data generated bybecoming valued sources of insight for marketers increasingly, other communities of stakeholders. those interactions and evaluate the potentialand product developers eager to learn what It provides pathways to convey to the rest of the insights they can get from them. They willconsumers really think. organization what has been learned by listening be obliged to revisit the organizational to consumers. The most immediate implication is structures that perpetuate the separationBut that’s not the only way that social platforms that a company’s call center applications, its Web of channels. They will have to think in termswill be used by businesses in the future. presence, its customer relationship management of industrializing social platforms. And theyThe social media phenomenon has not just (CRM) applications, its mobile experience, are likely to have to update the metrics thatcreated a new channel to communicate; it has and other consumer channels all need to all define success for customer interactions.fundamentally changed the ways in which be integrated with each other and be “social-people communicate. Looking at the broader enabled.” So, for example, when a customer No business is going to be able to excludeimpact, we predict that leading organizations will tweets about a bad experience with buying a social. Those that dismiss its rising influence assoon start applying social platforms and social mattress, it can be linked to his purchase history a fad—or worse, as a preoccupation only for thedesign mechanics to manage interactions across and to the reviews that he has posted on the young—will be doing their organizations a grossall communication channels to consumers, retailer’s website to determine the problem disservice. They will be effectively removingfostering greater intimacy with their customers, and—since he’s a repeat customer—to reach out themselves from the conversations that their25