According to the “Accenture Technology Vision for Energy 2019” report, the energy industry continues to play catch up with changing consumer expectations and the pace of digital transformation. Technology companies are larger (as measured by market capitalization) and are looking to disrupt all sectors including energy. Accenture says the energy industry will need to defend itself from these disruptors at a time when it is experiencing diminishing returns (despite widespread cost efficiencies) and increasing investor and activist scrutiny.
The report argues that a combination of emerging technologies known as “DARQ”—distributed ledger (blockchain), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computing—will become the foundation for the industry’s future.
Key findings include:
- 97% of upstream and 92% of downstream executives says the pace of innovation in their organization has accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies.
- 76% of upstream and 80% of downstream executives believe DARQ will have a transformational or extensive impact on their organizations over the next three years
- 80% of upstream and 90% of downstream executives are currently experimenting with one or more DARQ technologies
- Both upstream and downstream executives ranked AI as the #1 DARQ technology to impact their organization over the next three years
- 84% of upstream and 76% of downstream executives agree 5G will revolutionize their industry by offering new ways to provide products and services (e.g., drone delivery, driverless vehicles, faster video transmission)
- 76% of upstream and 63% of downstream executives agree their employees are more digitally mature than their organization, resulting in a workforce “waiting” for the organization to catch up
According to Accenture, tomorrow’s energy industry leaders are already investing in the digital ecosystems of the future and the next wave of emerging technologies. However, the post-digital world doesn’t mean that digital is over. On the contrary, it is posing a new question for the next era: as all organizations develop their next digital competencies, energy companies will need to ask – what sets us apart?