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Digital Blurs Industry Boundaries, Execs Eye Growth Outside Own Sector

11/02/2014 by Stuart Wilson


New research from Accenture among 500 C-level executives has shown that the boom in digital technologies is increasingly blurring the lines between different industries and many top executives are looking for growth opportunities across sectors. According to the respondents in the survey, the emergence of digital markets and the dissolution of industry boundaries are among the major shifts that the business world will face in the next five years.

The report, titled "Remaking Customer Markets: Unlocking Growth with Digital," surveyed top executives from 10 countries. Although 64% of respondents said their companies will continue to focus on growth in their own industry, 60% said they will also look for growth or collaborations outside their sector.

The report also examined six industries where digital is transforming the market dynamically. The combined value of three of these so-called digitally contestable markets, namely healthcare, retail and financial services, will account for a total £519 billion in the UK economy in 2018. The financial services sector alone is seen to grow at a rate of 2% between 2012 and 2018, but the wider payments market will expand at 2.9% a year in the same period because of digital trends such as crowd funding, peer-to-peer lending and virtual wallets.

Digital is causing the emergence of new customer needs which is pushing businesses to collaborate outside their traditional field of growth, Accenture says in the report. It identifies three capabilities that would drive success for enterprises in this new environment: market sensing, which means turning new customer needs into products and services as soon as possible; organisation realignment, which entails greater flexibility of resources, to be directed at short notice to new growth opportunities or threats; and ecosystem orchestration, which involves managing a greater variety of collaborators and providers and assuming different ecosystem roles.


Digital, growth, Accenture, Technology

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