Financial Services Blog

In my previous posts in this series, I outlined how businesses can help shape the new rules and regulations for new digital industries by partnering with other ecosystem stakeholders and industry organizations, as well as with governments and consumers. I also looked at some emerging technologies with embedded rules and standards.

To conclude the series, I will share Accenture’s conclusions and predictions for The Uncharted based on our Technology Vision 2017 survey of 5,400 business and IT executives.


New digital industries are beginning to redefine relationships with partners, governments, and society itself. As the pace picks up, companies should employ new strategies, models, and technologies to remain competitive.

Leading companies are starting to make their move:1

  • 36 percent of surveyed executives said that their organization has joined a tech consortium that helps set industry rules, while an additional 51 percent are considering joining one.

What do these companies expect from taking the lead? Quite a lot.

Based on our survey, of those companies that take the lead to shape the new rules:1

  • 53 percent expect freedom to innovate.
  • 52 percent expect the opportunity to develop standards that others follow.
  • 52 percent expect expanded opportunities for partnerships.

Defining the rules for new digital industries is the new corporate responsibility—and with great responsibility comes great opportunity. By acting now, businesses can establish the rules for any challengers in industries and ecosystems that are still emerging. And by demonstrating leadership in this space to customers, partners, alliances and external agencies, organizations can achieve expanded freedom and opportunities to innovate.


We make the following predictions with regard to the uncharted:2

  1. Within three years, we expect the new normal for businesses with mature digital strategies to be operating across currently siloed industries. For these companies, industry boundaries will likely vanish, and each new endeavor can amplify disruption.
  2. By 2020, we expect there to be entire ecosystems requiring the use of smart contracts in order to participate.
  3. Within five years, we expect new performance-based contracts—taking the form of “if/then/else” between two or more parties—to be exclusively smart contracts that self-govern and self-execute.
  4. In five years’ time, we expect numerous instances globally where governments cede rule-making authority to industry groups or, minimally, enact regulation that were designed by an industry consortium.

To summarize, the breakout businesses of today are defining the rules and standards for entirely new digital industries. We expect those who take the lead to find a place at or near the center of their new ecosystem, while those who don’t risk being left behind.

Or, as a Gartner executive put it, “…by 2020, companies will either lead a digital business industry vision they have created or be part of one created by someone else.”3

Until then, take a look at our The Uncharted page, or discover our latest Technology Vision 2018 page to learn more.



  1. “Technology by People, for People.” 2017 Technology Vision Trends Pre-Read. Accenture, 2017.
  2. “Technology Vision 2017: Technology for People – The Era of the Intelligent Enterprise,” Accenture, 2017. Access at:
  3. “Inside Gartner CIO Leadership Forum,” February 29, 2016. Access at


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