Accenture's 7 Tech Trends Driving Digital Business - InformationWeek
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Accenture's 7 Tech Trends Driving Digital Business

From customer relationships to cloud, and why mobile isn't one of them.

6. Active Defense. Daugherty thinks companies are moving away from just monitoring and understanding cyberattacks and quickly reacting to minimize the damage. Active defense tactics include knowing employee tendencies and restricting access if a person suddenly starts downloading sensitive data or hitting files he normally wouldn't. This isn't full-blown offensive security; we warned earlier this year about the risks of striking back at hackers with countermeasures. But Daugherty sees more companies taking more cautious offensive steps, such as identifying attackers and delivering "honeypot" files and the like that are meant to look like valuable assets and thus alert a company of a security problem.

7. Cloud. Accenture says the debate is over and declares cloud "enterprise-ready." CIOs now need to focus on changing their architectures and staffs to make hybrid cloud/on-premises software environments the standard model, according to Daugherty. Most IT shops haven't done that, he says -- they've treated cloud projects on a one-off basis.

The big missing piece from Accenture's list is mobile. Daugherty says mobile's no longer a trend -- it's an element in most of the seven factors above. Want a closer digital relationship with customers? Better collaboration among employees? Analytics that salespeople, repair staff or factory workers can actually use? Mobile is part of the answer. No debate there.

But in terms of IT's readiness, I'd say Accenture's a bit ahead of the market in not making mobile its own priority. Most companies are still in the early stages of crafting a strategy for ongoing development and support of mobile apps -- and each app is even more of a one-off effort than their use of cloud software or infrastructure is.

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User Rank: Author
3/21/2013 | 2:18:19 PM
re: Accenture's 7 Tech Trends Driving Digital Business
Regarding SDN: When I talk to CIOs, they tend to frame the conversation in terms of the problem they are trying to solve with cloud (i.e. do x process faster for the business) or the perceived problem (often, security.) Not the SDN that will get them there. Many are still struggling with how to do hybrid cloud right.

As for #4 here, seamless collaboration, I wonder how Accenture would grade the experience of Chubb, which is rolling Jive out widely after initial success. See

Laurianne McLaughlin
User Rank: Strategist
3/22/2013 | 1:02:50 AM
re: Accenture's 7 Tech Trends Driving Digital Business
Daughterty is right in calling SDN "the last mile" of virtualization. It may also be the last brick in the road to the software-defined data center. It's hard to see the hybrid cloud in operation without a shared SDN-management component. Your workload will need the same network characteristics when it moves into the cloud as what it enjoyed on premises. No question, we're not there yet but several parties pushing in this direction. Charlie Babcock, editor at large, IW
User Rank: Author
3/22/2013 | 4:28:06 PM
re: Accenture's 7 Tech Trends Driving Digital Business
I asked Daugherty about that directly -- what does IT tell business unit leaders they'll get from SDN, how do you tie it to a business problem? He cited speed and agility in delivering IT resources for new projects, plus better flexibility and utilization to meet spiky demand for computing power.
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