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RETHINK, REINVENT, REALIZE: How to successfully scale digital innovation to drive growth

Today, large industrial companies need to deploy digital technologies for wide-ranging aims. To stand out among competitors and maintain customer relevance, they need to apply innovation to not only existing and new operations, but also in the products and services they develop. But when it comes to their return on digital investments (RODI), only a select few companies emerge on top. To find out why, the consulting company Accenture has surveyed 1,350 global senior executives in key industrial sectors. The survey was focused on a critical transitional phase for large, innovative organizations: when and how they move from a successful digital proof of concept (PoC) to scaling that pilot innovation for growth and profit.

The results of the survey show that as few as 22 percent of industrial companies researched achieved a return on their digital investments that exceeded their expectations.

The authors have identified the following categories of organizational challenges: alignment deficit, infrastructure deficit, skills deficit, partnership deficit, measurement deficit, cultural deficit. Meeting these challenges is considered vital. For example, by overcoming alignment challenges and inadequacies in technology architecture, companies can unlock the most value — with a chance of almost doubling their returns. While discrete industries generally stand to gain the most from addressing these issues, process industries can significantly improve their returns as well.

The Accenture experts name the following four ways to scale innovation for growth and profit: define the value that will guide innovation efforts; focus on internal organizational change and external digital value; build in-house innovation factories with targeted influence; find out what enables innovation in each business function.
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