New Accenture report highlights the evolving role of design as innovation takes centre stage
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that digital technologies and hyper-connectivity are bringing user-led innovation to market faster than ever.
Successful organisations today are those that best adapt and respond to unceasing change. Against this backdrop, Accenture has released Fjord Trends 2017, its tenth and most provocative annual report examining the most significant emergent digital trends expected to disrupt organisations and society in the year ahead.
Three meta themes emerged, challenging long-held norms and assumptions. The rise of the autonomous vehicle, smart homes and digital assistants is creating new ecosystems that threaten the smartphone’s dominance as the main command center of our lives. Storytelling takes new shape through the popularity of live stories and raw, personal content as a refashioned form of broadcast. And the rise of social experience will soon be a consideration for any organisation wanting to cut through in a post-truth world.
“The year is about making us smarter humans and fostering human potential by creating helpful, meaningful services across an expanded array of digitized environments,” said Mark Curtis, chief client officer, Fjord. “Interfaces are becoming faster, smaller and automated, and organisations will need to adapt to the kind of supercharged, responsive and immersive environments now possible. Our tenth annual Trends report aims to provoke, inform and inspire but, above all, to provide actionable insights into designing for the rapidly evolving world of experience.”
Trends 2017 examines eight digital trends expected to shape the next generation of experiences:
- Ephemeral Stories: What’s next now that everyone’s a ‘storyteller’? Brand content is shifting from storytelling to ‘storydoing’ – creating stories by what brands do, rather than what they tell. Brand owners will step back and make room for audiences to shape their own stories through highly personal – often, ephemeral – content.
- Shiny API People: Re-wiring for innovation. Organisations will need to re-wire completely to inspire creative thinking and become more people-centric. They’ll do this by upscaling the principles and practices of innovation to effect organisation-wide transformation.
- Blurred Reality: Beyond AR vs VR vs MR. As Mixed Reality moves towards the mainstream, organisations will turn away from single, siloed enhanced reality experiences to focus instead on harnessing and combining all types of reality – both enhanced and real.
- World on Wheels: Go slow to go fast. With autonomous vehicles so close to becoming part of everyday life, organisations will focus attention on the car as a connected mobile environment in which things happen via multiple devices. Leaders will explore ways to integrate experiences between car and home.
- Homes without Boundaries: Domestic help finds its voice. Organisations will need to look beyond device-centric strategies to focus instead on designing and serving home experiences that better meet individual householders’ varying wants and needs.
- Hourglass Brands: Don’t get stuck in the middle. With a polarised brand landscape, brands sitting in the squeezed middle will need to change their strategies and either lean towards a clear purpose or advocate a ‘we can do anything’ voice.
- Me, Myself and A.I.: Humanizing chatbots. While A.I. has evolved exponentially, in 2017 we will see a shift in organisations’ approaches to developing products and services as emotional intelligence (EQ) becomes a critical A.I. differentiator.
- Unintended Consequences: Customer-centric cannibals. Organisations will focus more closely not just on their customer and employee experiences, but on their social experiences to guard against unintended consequences of their activities.
“We are witnessing an unprecedented era of innovation, placing the need for companies to rewire in order to succeed,” said Brian Whipple, head of Accenture Interactive. “Organisations across every sector are learning to harness digital to become more customer-centric. It is through this lens that organisations need to rethink their purpose and what they call a service in order to convert change into opportunities.”