New series: Accenture Strategy and Oxford Economics Report

Digital technology has been changing society for decades. It began in the 1950s and 60s as it transformed record keeping by taking information out of dusty log books and stuffed filing cabinets and making it easily and readily available. Then, it went on to make information truly interactive for the first time, cross-indexing at the speed of light. The 1980s saw the beginning of the Internet that has now grown into the world’s first truly global library and information exchange.
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Digital technology has also changed the way we interact with everything from telephones to cars and promises to remake society in ways yet unimagined.

Now, a new study by Accenture Strategy and Oxford Economics has substantiated a link between the growth of digital technology and the increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to their joint study, the increased use of digital technology will add 1.36 trillion dollars to the GDP of the world’s ten largest economies, by the year 2020. That’s 2.3% more than original baseline forecasts.

The report not only demonstrates how digital technology is increasing GDP, but also breaks the influence of IT down into specific categories that can be tested, measured and predicted. This is the Digital Density Index, which measures four important categories of digital influence. These categories are Making Markets, Sourcing Inputs, Running Enterprises and Fostering Enablers.

Making Markets addresses the fact that markets are becoming more digital all the time and that digital technology is constantly bringing new markets into existence. It is especially concerned with how government’s attitude toward digital technology can either help or hinder further growth.

Sourcing Inputs measures those factors that are sourced using digital technology and how IT changes the lifecycle of these factors with regard to business operations.

Running Enterprises relates to the degree that businesses are accepting and using digital technology in various aspects such as strategy, procurement, supply chain and research and development. And Fostering Enablers looks at the social, economic and cultural environment and how friendly it may or may not be toward digital technology.

Together, these four factors present various patterns that can be integrated to enable an accurate understanding of how a business, groups or even a country relates to digital technology.

The Digital Density Index gives us a marvelous tool for prediction and a clearer understanding of just how digital technology relates to different circumstances and how to best utilise that technology for further growth.

We’ll be taking a close look at each of these categories in future articles.

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