Time to Relearn

Four ways to win in the digital economy

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but
those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
– Alvin Toffler




Relearning is what brought the Apollo 13 astronauts home. It’s what gave us the Ford automobile instead of the faster horse. And it’s what will help your business thrive, as the coming years witness the explosion of cognitive computing, immersive experiences, and a digital mesh that connects people, things and various entities.

Why? Because the pace of change will never be slower than it is today. As counterintuitive as that sounds, the nature of technology is such that if you haven’t started on your path today, you will already be further behind tomorrow.

For Avanade’s Technology Vision 2016, we have identified the following themes that are instrumental in fostering this transformation as you rewire your organization:

  • Mind the ethical fault line: Building trust in a digital world
  • Embrace the digital mesh: Leveraging the power of borderless platforms
  • Data is dead: Long live data currency
  • Be the maestro: Orchestrating an augmented workforce

Mind the

ethical fault line

Building trust in a digital world

Our digital behaviors, intent and movement leave “footprints” across sensors, applications, workplace tools, social platforms and more; and these footprints are increasing on a daily basis.

With such an expanded surface area, spanning work and personal lives, the corresponding increased risk needs to be accepted and managed. Which is why ethics is the cornerstone of the new digital economy.

Digital ethics is more than a nice to have

Businesses that do nothing to rewire their approach to ethics in the digital context risk losing customer faith and trust. Enterprises need to adopt and implement an “ethical programming” approach with shared responsibility by all players.

How can you incorporate digital ethics into your long-term strategy?


the digital mesh

Leveraging the power of borderless platforms

Times are changing. Businesses need to move away from “walled gardens,” with closed platforms that prevent collaboration with outside parties, customers or, heaven forbid, competitors. It’s time to go borderless.

Businesses in all industries have started to realize the need to open up their borders, but where to begin? To get the most from a collaborative-centric business, you need to focus on the individual (customer, employee, client).


Go beyond your borders

Digital ecosystems and borderless platforms create opportunities for businesses to take advantage of a “mesh of interactions” that connects people, things, algorithms and other entities. This digital mesh generates more value than the sum of its parts, advancing entire industries and ecosystems, not just individual companies.

What connections and interactions can you make to enhance and delight the individual at every moment?


Data is dead

Long live data currency

On its own, data provides no value to the business. What really matters is the information and insight that can be gleaned from that data. When that happens data becomes currency.

Use data to create new currency

It’s important to start to make sense of and find value in the data flowing in because the mess will only get worse – until businesses find themselves sitting on a massive landfill of dead data. Your ability to find new and innovative ways to connect data to insight can help drive your digital business transformation.

What learnings can you apply to chip away at the data landfill?

Be the maestro

Orchestrating an augmented workforce

As more smart technologies enter the workforce, an enormous amount of value to the business can be added from automated, intelligent machines.

Think of it like a symphony. One where machines and humans come together, making for a beautiful, symphonic delivery of services. It’s all about orchestrating this “superhuman” augmented workforce.


Keep people front and center

Change the conversation from “what if” smart machines enter the workforce, to “how to use” these technologies to enhance humans and human judgment and action in the physical world. Keeping people front and center will be a key to success.

What automation will you be augmenting your workforce with?