Country Manager for Accenture Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Yusuf

By Emma Okonji

In order to boost productivity, returns for organisations and improve the nation’s economy, policy maker, business leaders and government have been told to optimise digital investment that will unlock untapped value.

In its recent research, Accenture, a leading global professional services company, which provides broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations, identified the positive contributions that digital investment can deliver to organisations and the economy.

Country Manager for Accenture Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Yusuf, while highlighting the Accenture Strategy Research, said by raising digital investments, organisations and economies can be more competitive, productive and bring quality of life to people.

The study indicated that high-performing economies could realise better returns from the optimal combination of investments in digital skills, digital technologies and digital accelerators.

It cited an example that business and policy leaders may have invested heavily in digital technologies, but have neglected to prepare for the workforce of the future. Findings, however, showed how the smarter use of digital skills, technologies and other assets could boost productivity and generate $2 trillion of additional economic output by 2020.

According to the research, digital investments can act as a growth multiplier in the coming years. “Take the United States where adjustments in investments in digital skills, digital technologies and digital accelerators in line with our calculations could see the nation increase its gross domestic product by 2.1 per cent, which equates to $421 billion in 2020,” the report noted.

Findings also showed how adjusting three levers—digital skills, digital technologies and digital accelerators—can enhance overall digital intensity and act as a growth multiplier.

In his explanation of the three levers, which consist of a collection of broad and specific indicators, Yusuf said: “Digital skills measures elements such as the information, communications and technology expertise in the work force or the use of digital to facilitate remote working. Digital technologies include mobile connectivity and the economy’s capacity to make use of the industrial Internet. Finally, digital accelerators include wide-ranging parameters such as making use of the cloud or access to finance or the economy’s regulatory burden.”

The study, which evaluated the digital approach of 11 national economies and 13 industry sectors, noted that being digital is not just a question of size but the degree to which digital practices and capabilities are embedded into the fabric of the world’s economies.

Yusuf, therefore, said: “Business leaders and policy makers in Nigeria need to invest the right amounts in the right areas; by doing so, they can discover new profitable, scalable and sustainable ways to help their economies grow.”

He advised that business leaders and policy makers must first understand areas that need improvement so that they can recalibrate their digital skills, digital technologies and digital accelerators to enhance productivity and output gains across the economy.

He further pointed three key actions that business leaders and policy makers must take to exploit the growing digital economy, improve their economic opportunities and drive new productivity and growth. Firstly, they need to prioritise digital investments based on value opportunities.

Secondly, compete using an industry-specific digital strategy by being clear on which platform, what roles, and which data are fundamental to compete successfully in their industry, and thirdly, create the right environment for digital transformation.

“The power to connect digital size, scale and outcome lies with businesses, industry sectors and governments. With smarter investments, digital resources, technologies and assets can have a positive influence on competitiveness and help economies and industries drive greater, more sustainable value,” Yusuf said.