Digital transformation might not be as great an upheaval for organizations as they first thought – but that's not to say that it will just happen for them, says Accenture's Bruno Berthon.
Writing for the Re/code website, Berthon, who is managing director of digital strategy at Accenture Strategy, argues that organizations "may have a greater digital base to build on" than they give themselves credit for, meaning they "can be more aggressive and proactive in disrupting markets themselves."
Using the U.S. as an example, he says Accenture data – which considers any job where digital skills are important as 'digital' – shows that 43% of U.S. employment is digital.
Berthon stresses that while becoming a digital business is anything but effortless, the data should give firms some confidence to make the move sooner rather than later.
However, investors and companies will need to address three myths before they consider their next steps in digital transformation, according to Berthon.
The first myth he cites is that "a bigger digital economy means greater economic growth." Increasing the size of the sector doesn't guarantee any particular rate of growth, he points out – it's the application of digital investments that matter.
The next myth that he wants to dispel is that "all we need is greater technology investment." Taking the U.S. as an example again, he says that if it's to pull off its 2.1% uplift to GDP, just 10% of its extra effort should be devoted to digital technology. Meanwhile, 60% of improvements to the application of digital should be focused on skills.
Finally, Berthon says it isn't true that only huge, online companies will benefit from the digital economy. "By generating data from their network of products and partners, [traditional analogue companies] can deliver rich new services themselves," he writes.
"Europe's strengths in engineering, health care and pharmaceuticals gives it the perfect chance to transform its traditional businesses into digital platform players with global clout."