Accenture, the global management consulting company, recently published their "Accenture Technology Vision 2018" report which surveyed more than 6,000 businesses across 19 industries in 25 countries including South Africa. One of the key revelations in the report is that South African businesses are lagging their global counterparts when it comes to leveraging technology and integrating it into their customers' lives.

![Willie Schoeman Accenture](/content/images/2018/02/Willie-Schoeman.jpg)
Willie Schoeman, Managing Director at Accenture Technology in Afrika.

According to the Accenture Technology Vision 2018 annual report, South African businesses taht are looking to leverage the power of technology to transform themselves into intelligent enterprises that can integrate into their customers' daily lives must embrace 5 key trends, namely, Citizen AI (raising AI to benefit business and society), Extended Reality (the end of distance), Data Veracity (the importance of trust), Frictionless Business (built to partner at scale), and the Internet of Thinking (creating intelligent distributed systems).

“South African businesses and IT executives are increasingly embracing the power of technology with 80% of those surveyed agreeing that it can help companies weave themselves seamlessly into the fabric of daily life. Many people may not even realize that they are interacting with new innovations like AI. If you’ve received an automated telemarketing call or interacted with a Chabot online then AI has already influenced your life,” said Willie Schoeman, Managing Director at Accenture Technology in Afrika.

The Accenture Technology Vision report is developed annually by the Accenture Labs and Accenture Research. For the 2018 report, according to the company, the research process included gathering input from the Technology Vision External Advisory Board, a group comprising more than two dozen experienced individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial companies. In addition, the Technology Vision team conducted interviews with technology luminaries and industry experts, as well as with nearly 100 Accenture business leaders. In parallel, Accenture Research conducted a global online survey of more than 6,300 business and IT executives across 25 countries and 18 industries to capture insights into the adoption of emerging technologies.

The survey helped identify the key issues and priorities for technology adoption and investment. Respondents were mostly C-level executives and directors, with some functional and line-of-business leads, at companies with annual revenues of at least US$500 million, with most having annual revenues greater than US$6 billion.

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