Digital plays a key role in economic activity, according to a new study by Accenture.
Organisations that optimise the use of digital skills and technologies could generate US$2 trillion of additional global economic output by 2020.
More than one-fifth of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) is attributed to some form of digital skills, capital and goods and services.
The report identified the US as the world's most digital economy, with existing digital investments accounting for 33 percent of its output.
"Businesses and governments are turning to digital to secure faster growth amid an uncertain global economic outlook, but the size of the digital economy is no guarantee of growth," said Mark Knickrehm, Group Chief Executive, Accenture Strategy. "Organisations need to act aggressively in shifting the focus of their digital talent and technology from making efficiencies to creating entirely new business models. That requires not just greater digital investments, but broader organisational and cultural transformation in order to yield the greatest returns."
Tracking digital penetration
Tracking the extent to which digital penetrates a country's businesses and economy is important to generate higher rates of growth in companies.
Companies should improve digital skills and technology, as well as broader enabling factors such as the ease of access to finance and the openness of a country's regulatory environment.
China and Japan are amongst countries that have the greatest opportunity for improving their overall digital performance.
Each national economy should prioritise its extra digital efforts to achieve the greatest boost to revenues and economic output.
"The high growth rates experienced by many digital companies can now be enjoyed by traditional industry incumbents if they apply platform models to create an ecosystem of partners and customers in which they can offer new value added services," said Bruno Berthon, managing director, Accenture Strategy. "Companies need to shape their platform strategies and define their role as platform leaders or participants before aggressively forming partnerships that can deliver new value."
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