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“How do we use data to increase sustainability in the supply chain?”, “How can analytics strengthen our decision-making?”, or “What can cloud do for marketing?” – these are examples of common technology and business matters that management needs to master, independently of industry. Keeping up with the pace of transformation is a hard nut to crack for leaders.

Over 90% of business leaders say it’s a strategic priority to adopt a data-driven approach and create a digital-first business model, according to the recent Cognizant/The Economist research. Easier said than done though; while the tech foundation is rising, strategies and priorities are muddled. Almost half of the respondents don’t achieve any significant value from their technology investments. 

The same goes for ESG: while 9 in 10 decision-makers recognize that attending to ESG issues is a critical aspect of being a modern business, fewer take real action. To put it straight: there’s a massive disconnect between recognition and tangible results. Why is that?

Immense transformative pressure

Based on my experience from working with clients across the globe, most businesses suffer from the same dilemma – with today’s rapid development it’s hard enough just staying above the surface. Being at the forefront is even harder. 

The transformative pressure on leaders is massive; the tech landscape becomes increasingly complex, customer experience expectations constantly increase, and the sustainability agenda adds a new dimension to what is required. 

While the possibilities seem to be endless, there is neither enough time nor competence and/or capacity to grab the new opportunities that disruptive technologies bring. Unfortunately, what brought a successful company to its position today, won’t work tomorrow. The lack of action is likely to thwart future competitiveness and resiliency. 

Exploring a new technology

What could bring management up to speed when it comes to exploring new technologies and their potential impact on a specific function, business area, or industry? Bringing in an external view to inspire and challenge leadership teams to think ahead seems to be a good start. 

Based on the issues companies face, we have developed our Digital Accelerator offering. It’s a framework for deep diving into a certain theme or question, such as the ones at the beginning of this text. By combining technology and industry expertise, we investigate operational and strategic advantages in a workshop format, all through the lens of a specific technology. The target group is management, either on the corporate level or within functions such as finance, marketing, or HR.

A guided tour of what’s doable

What are the expected outcomes then? While it depends on the scope of the workshop, it could stretch from a high-density 45-minute session to a full-week prototyping accelerator, you’ll get a guided tour that shows what’s doable and realistic within the chosen area. 

The insights run from inspiration on a digital theme, outlining challenges, detecting where digital enhancements are necessary, and which area to prioritize, to joining forces in a Hackathon where we build and test hypotheses of a digitally enhanced solution by creating a Lo-Fi prototype. If you go for the week-long alternative, we take that prototype to the next level, visualizing an end solution. 

All in all, a Digital Accelerator session will increase your understanding of disruptive technologies, what it might mean for you, how to add it to your playbook, and, most importantly, to decide your next step. 

Keen to learn more about the above? Then please get in touch by clicking here!

 


Sven Jagebro

Nordic Head of Digital Strategy Consulting, Cognizant

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