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Travel Tech

The emergence and adoption of digital technologies has rapidly transformed businesses and industries across the globe. Mobile technologies have been especially important, as they have enabled businesses to engage more effectively with customers and tap into new sources of revenue, while keeping consumers in touch with the commercial sector on a 24/7 basis.

Yet the path to successful digital transformation has not always been a smooth one for companies in a wide variety of industries. Businesses looking to embrace mobile are facing numerous challenges. Security concerns, technology adoption and integration, and resource constraints are frequently cited as impediments to more rapid adoption of transformative technologies.

Accenture Digital Report

With this in mind, Accenture recently released its “Growing the Digital Business: Accenture Mobility Research 2015” report. This concluded that digital is driving transformation across industries and geographies, and provided much food for thought for digital marketers involved in the travel industry. It assessed the barriers that prevent digital adoption, and pinpointed the most important issues for the future of the digital transformation.

The Accenture Mobility Research 2015 study has been based on a combination of online and telephone interviews conducted in December 2014 and January 2015, with 1,925 senior decision-makers for digital strategy and technologies representing companies in 15 countries. It is therefore a diverse representation of the way that digital operates in the contemporary world and marketplace.

Vision of Digital Transformation

This year's study indicated that businesses are beginning to profoundly recognise the importance of digital technology, and are thus embracing it in large numbers. Organisations have clear expectations about the ability of digital to influence their business positively, and have demonstrably invested in it on a broad scale.

Although some companies have been slow to adopt digital technologies, there is a widespread acknowledgement that this is a necessity. 80 percent of the companies survey reported that they have a Chief Digital Officer currently in place to drive digital transformation efforts, while as many as 90 percent indicated that their organisation has clear expectations regarding how digital can enhance their existing business model.

Overcoming obstacles

But just because businesses are embracing digital does not mean that the process has been an entirely seamless one. Overcoming critical obstacles can generally slow the rate of reduction to digital technology, and despite significant progress in this realm, it was acknowledged in the Accenture report that further work needs to be done to identify and deal with digital technology challenges. Unquestionably, digital has had a transformative effect, but numerous concerns are preventing it from reaching its full potential.

While many companies, according to Accenture, appointed a Chief Digital Officer as the company’s “digital czar”, the presence of a CDO didn’t necessarily advance digital technology integration within the organisation, with the role’s seniority, scope, and responsibilities differing vastly from one organisation to another.

Combining Technologies Important

The term ‘digital’ can be associated with numerous different technologies that are actually quite diverse in nature. Analytics, cloud computing, mobile and social technologies are all important in the digital revolution, and each offers significant transformative potential. But instigating an integrated, coordinated approach to the individual technologies will deal the greatest investment in the digital revolution. Combining technologies can result in improved revenue opportunities, accelerated time-to-market for products and services, and improved engagement and communication with consumers.

But this combining of technologies cannot be achieved without businesses encountering certain challenges. Over half of those surveyed indicated that security concerns were at least partly preventing this combination of digital technologies, while other issues were also prevalent. Keeping pace with digital advancements, finding the appropriate technology partners, exploiting the potential of digital efficiently, and possessing enough skills and resources to support digital deployments were all considered a significant issue by at least one-third of those who responded.

Reshuffling Digital Priorities

The 2015 Accenture study also found that priorities had significantly shifted from the 2014 iteration of the report. While mobile technologies were previously out on their own as the most important according to most businesses, getting the best out of analytics was considered a particular priority in 2015. This possibly reflects the fact that companies have embraced mobile more enthusiastically than any other aspect of the digital revolution, and analytics now presents opportunities for organisations to harness the data that has been garnered through mobile and cloud-based collection sources.

In conclusion, the Accenture report provides a valuable insight into the future trends in digital technology, and offers an impression of the industry from which travel-related businesses can benefit. With a history of assessing the digital realm, through previous reports such as “The Connected Vehicle: Viewing the Road Ahead”, “Design and Innovation Trends: 2015” and previous iterations of the Mobile Research Survey, Accenture is well placed to provide advice on the digital revolution, and paying heed to the findings of this report would be advisable.

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