Smarter use of digital skills, tech, could boost global economy by $2 Trillion: Accenture
BUSINESS| Jan. 21, 2016, 11:42 a.m.
Optimizing the use of digital skills and technologies could generate $2 trillion of additional global economic output by 2020, according to a new study by Accenture. The study also reveals the vast role digital plays in economic activity, with more than one-fifth of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) attributed to some form of digital skills, capital and goods and services.
The Accenture Strategy report, Digital Disruption: the Growth Multiplier, provides a new and comprehensive measure of the scale of the digital economy in 11 major countries. It estimates the value added to GDP by hardware, software and related technologies and by workers who need these digital assets to do their jobs. It also calculates the value of intermediate digital goods and services used in production.
A little more than one-fifth (22 percent) of world output is linked to this digital economy of skills and capital. The US is the world’s most digital economy, with existing digital investments accounting for 33 percent of its output. Forty-three percent of the U.S. labour force and 26 percent of its accumulated capital are capable of supporting digital related activity. The digital economy in other markets varies from more than 30 percent in the UK and Australia to 13 percent in China.
Digital share of GDP
“Businesses and governments are turning to digital to secure faster growth amid an uncertain global economic outlook, but the size of the digital economy is no guarantee of growth,” said Mark Knickrehm, group chief executive, Accenture Strategy. “Organizations need to act aggressively in shifting the focus of their digital talent and technology from making efficiencies to creating entirely new business models. That requires not just greater digital investments, but broader organizational and cultural transformation in order to yield the greatest returns.”
The report states that in order to generate higher rates of growth, companies will need to improve their Accenture Strategy Digital Density score, which tracks the extent to which digital penetrates a country’s businesses and economy. This includes digital skills and technology, as well as broader enabling factors such as the ease of access to finance and the openness of a country’s regulatory environment.
For example, a 10 point increase in the overall digital density of the U.S. economy would result in a $368 billion uplift to 2020 GDP, 1.8 percent higher than current forecasts. But Accenture Strategy calculates that an optimal combination of improvements to digital skills, capital and other accelerators could lift U.S. GDP by an even greater $421 billion by 2020, representing a 2.1 percent boost. The countries with the greatest opportunity for improving their overall digital performance are Brazil (6.6 percent), Italy, (4.2 percent), China (3.7 percent) and Japan (3.3 percent).
Digital impact on GDP
The study shows how each national economy could best prioritize its extra efforts to achieve the greatest boost to revenues and economic output. For example, 70 percent of Brazil’s extra digital efforts should be focused on the improved application of technology, such as cloud and analytics, whereas greater efforts in digital skills would generate less of an economic return. In the US, however, just 10 percent of extra digital efforts need to be injected into technology, while a greater return will be gained from boosting digital skills and broader enabling factors.
Platform based models are the key to growth
According to the report, platform business models represent one of the greatest opportunities for digitally driven growth. These models allow organizations to create new markets and uncover value by bringing partners and customers together across a common digital platform. In many cases, platform players can enjoy strong growth without having to own or manage assets, helping them expand with low marginal costs.
While ‘born digital companies’ dominate the platform economy today, the Accenture Strategy report suggests that traditional industry incumbents could be among the greatest beneficiaries of platform strategies by combining their customer reach and product portfolios with the networking power of the platform.
“The high growth rates experienced by many digital companies can now be enjoyed by traditional industry incumbents if they apply platform models to create an ecosystem of partners and customers in which they can offer new value added services,” said Bruno Berthon, managing director, Accenture Strategy. “Companies need to shape their platform strategies and define their role as platform leaders or participants before aggressively forming partnerships that can deliver new value.”
The report recommends three broad actions that can improve the application of digital business models to drive higher levels of productivity and growth:
· Prioritize digital investments based on value opportunities: Assess carefully the balance of digital investments so that an optimal combination of improvements to skills and technology can maximize returns on digital investments
· Compete using an industry-specific digital strategy: Be clear on which platform, what roles, and which data are fundamental to compete successfully in your industry.
· Create the right environment for digital transformation: Improve your “digital IQ,” teaming with government to open up cross-industry relationships and change the rules of competition.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
The Tech Revolution: Sage Sets out the Vision for African BusinessesSage, a market leader in cloud accounting software used its global Sage Summit 2016, held this week in Chicago, to outline its strong commitment to future technologies, with a focus on new and existing initiatives that power business growth. Read More
Francistown Barclays gets cardlessCardless cash deposits have been launched in Francistown. Read More
Business incubator to boost 200 Zimbabwean entrepreneurs200 would-be Zimbabwean entrepreneurs are set to benefit from business training and support, thanks to a business development programme to be launched by business incubation specialist KBA Africa. Read More
Union gives Globacom 14 days to reinstate 54 sacked workersThe Private Telecoms & Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) has urged Globacom to reinstate the workers it allegedly sacked from its service. Read More
British envoy promises more investors at Rack CentreMr Paul Arkwright, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, has promised to do his utmost to encourage more British companies to do business with their Nigerian Counterparts. Read More
UBA, Mastercard in pan-African partnershipUBA and Mastercard have announced a five year deal across 19 markets focused on driving financial inclusion in Africa. Read More
MTN Business partners with the National Gazelles to boost SMEs marketMTN Business today announced a new drive to help support the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and contribute to creating sustainable entities. Read More
Travelport appoints new Managing Director for AfricaTravelport has announced the appointment of Douglas Jewson as Travelport’s Managing Director for Africa. Read More
Brexit’s impact on AfricaThe short-term implications of Brexit for African economies will be mainly noticeable through market volatility, say Control Risks and NKC African Economics. Read More
Safaricom Blaze to take 2nd youth empowerment summit to ThikaSafaricom will this Friday, 8th July 2016, host the 2nd in a series of youth empowerment summits under its recently launched sub-brand, BLAZE. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.
COMPANY NEWSThe Tech Revolution: Sage Sets out the Vision for African Businesses
Sage, a market leader in cloud accounting software used its global Sage Summit 2016, held this week in Chicago, to outline its strong commitment to future technologies, ...