中国数谷

A smart approach to digital transformation

The booth of Accenture at an exhibition in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Sept 25. [Photo by Lyu Liang / For China Daily]

Editor's Note: The Chinese government has adopted a series of measures to boost economic growth, including stimulating consumption, further opening up to foreign investment, supporting private enterprises and encouraging technology innovation. China Daily asked senior executives of well-known multinational companies to share their views on the country's economic development and their companies' business strategies in China.

New trends driven by intelligent technologies and consumer behavior are reshaping products and services, Accenture says

China has rolled out a series of measures to stimulate consumer spending and boost economic growth. What opportunities are there for your business?

Clearly consumption and the services sector will play a bigger role in propelling Chinese economic growth. Meanwhile, the high-end equipment manufacturing, new information technologies, new energy and high-tech industries had been expanding faster in the first half of this year. These trends are bringing vigor to China's digital business ecosystem.

We believe that government bodies, businesses and others will increase investments in such areas, speed up transformation pace and drive innovation further in more sectors. And we also believe during the process more value can be released from the value chain from R&D to delivery, from prototype to application, from best case sharing to open innovation.

In such context, Accenture helps and works side by side with Chinese companies to practice their digital transformation - to make their operations and core businesses smarter while venturing into new business models in bolder steps. We have opened an innovation hub in Shenzhen and a digital hub in Shanghai this year.

What business opportunities do you see as China continues to pursue higher-quality growth, which is increasingly driven by services and consumption?

The gravity of China's economy is shifting from fixed assets investment to consumers and services. In the future the pace in consumer markets will be faster and the competition more intense. New trends driven by digital and intelligent technologies, and consumer behavior are reshaping the services sectors.

Both international and Chinese companies are investing to improve their insights and capabilities to take advantage and stay hyper relevant to Chinese consumers. Accenture helps clients stay relevant and generate new revenue streams by becoming more human-centric, delivering personalized customer experience, and providing trust for data privacy and security - and more importantly, becoming a responsible business with the power of technology.

What do you see as the most resilient part of the Chinese economy and how do you plan to align your business with it?

China is demonstrating its great resilience by switching gear from its old growth model to high-quality growth. It's not only about removal of overbuilt capacities, but also investing in advanced technologies and innovation, as well as expanding in emerging industries.

Still, for Chinese companies pursuing new growth drivers, they should make extra efforts to create solid value through their rotation to new businesses. Only 9 percent of Chinese companies have successfully digitized their businesses and are generating more than half of their revenues from new business areas, according to our research.

As a global professional services firm, we are determined to explore uncharted waters together with our clients in China. We are investing heavily to build or acquire new capabilities to help Chinese enterprises apply innovation to unlock the value trapped in old technologies, old assets, and the failure to engage with partners in a broader digital ecosystem.

Accenture is also making changes to become more resilient, especially how we operate and deliver our services. We are becoming leaner in structure and more customer-centric in the digitally contested consulting and IT services markets. We co-create and share tangible outcomes with our clients.

Zhu Wei, senior managing director and chairman of Accenture China. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China has adopted policies to further open the economy to foreign investment, to transform financial services and to promote private enterprises. How are you planning to take advantage of these policies?

Forty years into its reform and opening-up, China has been encouraging innovation, supporting the private sector and attracting foreign investment with all these policies.

Accenture is a long-term witness of such initiatives and has benefited from them, growing into a strong team of some 15,000 people in China today. We experienced the State-owned enterprise reforms, the rise of privately owned companies, the globalization of Chinese companies, industrial upgrading, and today's digital transformation.

We feel confident that the wisdom from the past can better prepare us to cater to the demands of Chinese clients at both local and global stages. We are fostering innovation within local ecosystems, exploring next-generation disruptive technologies, going deeper in industrial applications, helping the workforce adapt to the new digital environment, and ensuring the fair use of data and personal information.

How does your company plan to take advantage of the technology transformation opportunities in China over the next decade?

Digital technologies are indeed bringing disruptions to various industries and constantly changing the competition landscape - winner won't necessarily take all. Our latest survey also shows that the majority of Chinese companies are actively advancing their digital capabilities. Two-thirds of the surveyed corporate leaders said innovation driven by technology is their top priority in the next two years.

At Accenture, we are looking deeper into such opportunities and seeing rising demands from Chinese companies to apply new technology combinations at scale and at speed to increase agility and efficiency. Moreover, we are always practicing at the intersection of business and technology to bring the latest strategy and management to life, apply new technologies such as applied intelligence, analytics and robotics, tailor-make innovative new products and services, and streamline organizational changes in every aspect of the transformation journey.