When companies invest in technology, they expect to see the results. This doesn’t always follow. It turns out, getting the tech right isn’t nearly enough.  

This leads to an “innovation achievement gap” in which the implementation of the tech doesn’t deliver the promised results. 

To truly become hyper-relevant, brand new Accenture research suggests that leading companies adopt a “Future Systems” approach. To crack the code on scaling innovation and closing the achievement gap, we collected data from companies across three categories: 1) the adoption of key technologies; 2) the penetration of technologies adopted; and 3) organisation and culture. We then scored them on these factors, calling companies in the top 10% “Leaders,” and those in the bottom 25%, “Laggards.” 

When the researchers looked at Leaders compared to Laggards, one of the key differences was how quickly the Leaders re-skill their people. 

Just how successful are the Leaders? For one thing, they are seeing more than 2X the revenue growth of the Laggards. Even worse news for those struggling to keep up is that the lost potential is snowballing: 

In 2018, Laggards had 15% in foregone annual revenue. If they don’t change, they could miss out on a staggering 46% of their annual revenue in 2023. And it’s not just those with legacy systems that are struggling; many digital native companies are also failing to realise the full value from technology adoption. 

One of the key factors that Leaders consider is how new technologies will interact with the people and processes already in place in their organisation, and they nurture talent in creative ways. 

Leaders understand that investing in talent is the best way to advance Future Systems. As these systems evolve, so must the IT workforce. In fact, a workforce immersed in yesterday’s technologies is one of the biggest obstacles to creating the expansive, flexible, human-centric systems necessary for success. 

Our survey respondents believe that without some retraining, 52% of their IT workforce’s skills and almost half (47%) of their non-IT workforce’s skills will be obsolete in three years. 

To counteract this, Leaders use experiential learning at three times the rate of Laggards (73% vs 24%) and they launch apprenticeship programmes at more than double the rate of Laggards. 

They use advanced analytics to personalislearning, predict skills needs, and match workers’ skill requirements with appropriate training modules. 

Only 35% of Laggards use these techniques. 

Leaders also make sure their talent is not afraid to experiment and present non-traditional ideas  important components of learning and growing. Eighty-four percent of Leaders have fostered a fail-fast culture, for example, versus only 44% of Laggards. 

Being hyper-relevant will need the insights that big data can provide, the speed to market that the cloud can deliver, and CMOs who can leverage the tech to create hyper-relevant offerings. 

But as always, it’s the people  and even more crucially, the culture, that will reduce the innovation  achievement gap. 

For more information, please contact me. Or you can read more about the research in our report, Welcome to the hyper-relevance era.