Accenture becomes first Founding Member of MIT IDE

24 June 2015 3 min. read

With technology sometimes developing faster than human beings are able to adapt, and with technological development about to accelerate further, MIT has set up the Initiative for the Digital Economy to explore the impact of digital technology on businesses, the economy, and society. Accenture has joined the initiative as the first Founding Member. The membership allows the consulting firm access to collaborate on joint research projects as well as allowing them to develop further insight into new business models necessary to be successful in the digital world.

Technology is rapidly changing and challenging how we live and have lived for many thousands of years. Some of these changes are positive for society, others positive for the economy – with the relation between the two seemingly falling further apart.

Digital economy

MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy
MIT has set up the Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) to address the impact of digital technology on businesses, the economy, and society and. The initiative finds that while digital technologies are boosting productivity, wealth, and profits, the median worker in the US is now poorer than in 1997. Technology itself, while benefiting some, is not creating wider social benefits – with “no economic law that says everyone, or even a majority of people, will share in these gains.” And with technology about to develop even more quickly, the gap between swiftly evolving technology and the slower pace of human development will grow rapidly in the coming decades.

The initiative explores the economic paradox that comes with digital technologies by involving faculty and students in education programmes relevant to the digital revolution, and makes recommendations to industry leaders and policy makers on the digital economy and job growth. “Inventing effective organisations and institutions for the digital economy is the grand challenge for our time, and for MIT in particular,” IDE explains.

Consulting firm Accenture has joined the IDE programme as the first Founding Member to explore its mutual interest with that of the IDE toward “defining new business models necessary to be successful in the digital world.” The firm has agreed to a five year relationship that provides it the chance to participate on joint research projects, contribute to the programme’s research and technology roadmap, mentor students by providing feedback on projects and case studies, and participate in a specialised fellowship programme.

Accenture first founding member of MIT IDE

Commenting on the partnership, Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology Officer at Accenture, says: “We are excited to work with the IDE to explore how businesses can continue to master digital technologies to effect change on a much bigger scale. IDE’s dedication to digital transformation matches Accenture’s focus.”

“We are pleased to have the support of Accenture’s thought leadership as we continue build out an interdisciplinary focus and conduct research in various areas such as new digital models, big data, and productivity,” adds Andrew McAffee, Associate Director of Initiative on the Digital Economy at the MIT Sloan School of Management. “The IDE looks forward to growing the programme with Accenture as we pave the way towards better understanding of digital's role in the economy."

Leading Digital

Last year McAffee launched the book Leading Digital, together with co-authors Didier Bonnet (SVP of Capgemini Consulting) and George Westerman (MIT).