We are on the verge of unprecedented technological and innovation disruption. EPIC disruption is Accenture’s viewpoint on what is known as the 4th Industrial Revolution. There’s always been technology disruption. But this time it’s different.

Previously, disruption would impact the productivity of the business. Now, it’s disrupting the business models. Once the business model (and value chain) is disrupted the stakes are raised. It’s EPIC!

In a recent Accenture survey of Chief Strategy Officers, the majority agreed they would be disrupted at some point in the next five years — only 20 percent felt they were well prepared for disruption when it hits.

Here we will briefly take you all through considerations for EPIC disruption. Contact us for more information and how you can plan your business for this change.

E is for Exponential

There has always been disruption, but never at this pace. Cycles are shorter; the impacts larger. Technical and commercial maturity is moving at a rapid pace, and it’s not going to slow. It’s increasing Exponentially. The curve for new tech has totally shifted with time to maturity in a matter of months not years…

Due to this pace, approaches of the past such as SWOT analysis, scenario planning, fast follower, are not as relevant. Disruption is moving too fast.

You are either a disruptor or disrupted. Even treading water leaves you behind.

Google Director of Engineering: This is how fast the world will change in ten years, by Michael Simmons

P is for Pervasive

It’s not just exponential in pace, it's pervasive in breadth of impact. As we’ve seen from the over-the-top internet giants, the rules around business being contained to industries or geographies have changed and previous boundaries are being broken:

  • Geographic
  • Industry
  • Value Chain Contribution
  • Product vs Service
  • Physical and vertical
  • Intermediaries

It is the pervasiveness of innovation and connectivity that is changing the rules. There is now no protection from risk and no constraints from growth potential.

The CIO Show: The Australian media's digitisation drama

I is for Intelligent

The most important element of EPIC disruption…

Previous focus has been on automating low value tasks. Now, emerging Intelligent Services include high value cognitive & decision-making tasks. This Intelligence also allows dynamic learning and improvement, not just insight led decision making.

AI supports:

  • Predictive capabilities
  • Self-healing
  • Ultra-personalisation
  • Dynamic processes

Innovation is no longer just about brawn; it now comes with a brain! Size is no longer an advantage - brain over brawn breaks economies of scale.

Read Johnathan Restarick's full Oped on The Australian

C is for Continuous

The pace of change means the pace of action and reaction needs to be continuous. If the market change is continuous waves, the organisational response can’t be a one-off. We need to prepare for continuous transformations, to continually innovate. We see lots of investment in Ideation, but suggest more should be spent on structured Innovation.

Whilst we can’t predict the future, we can and should make sure we approach the method of dealing with EPIC Disruption in a repeatable manner. Therefore, for sustainable value, Innovation must structurally embedded in the business.

Accenture - the era of the fast follower is over, perpetual change is permanent (diginomica.com)

Our view is that if a company wants to rotate to the new, there are four key things they have to do:

  1. Transform the core business to drive up investment capacity
  2. Drive incremental growth in the core business
  3. Scale their business to the New
  4. The Wise Pivot

We are supporting organisations with their Wise Pivots - optimising investment management and capital allocation over time, from the core business to the new business.

We are working with our clients to put the workforce at the heart of the changes they are facing. The future is not about Man v Machine, but Man with Machine- an approach we are calling ‘The Missing Middle.’

We are helping organisations of all sizes, in all sectors, to focus on workforce planning rather than work planning. We are helping our clients understand the skills of the future and the different ways of learning available to them.

EPIC Disruption brings a wealth of new opportunities for people, not just businesses. There is a need for new skills, new jobs and new mindsets to prosper in this period of change.

Roles will become more fluid and there will be increased emphasis on communication, collaboration and workforce agility. It is an exciting time for the workforce and we are seeing great success supporting clients in Employee Experience, future skills mapping and Workforce Planning.

Adopting an Innovation Mindset

Adopting an innovation mindset, we suggest, is essential for succeeding in this period of Epic Disruption. We are helping our clients drive a new culture of innovation and ensure it is the responsibility of everyone. Thinking creatively innovatively is more necessary now than ever to keep up with the frequency and consistency of change.

We are supporting our clients to scale innovation. Successful organisations have innovation at the heart of what they do, making sure they don’t stand still and continue to evolve and diversify.

In today’s world, supported by technology, it is easier than ever to implement ideas, but organisations need to have a culture that inspires creative thinking and innovation.

Innovation is not a destination. It is a mindset and fundamental element of an organisations culture.


Listen below to our EPIC Disruption podcast with comedian and journalist Dan Ilic. Featuring guests Telstra CEO Andy Penn, Enterprise Chief Michael Ebeid and Paralympian gold medalist Kurt Fearnley—a stellar line-up!


Shared Workforce Resilience
Organizations globally are experiencing workforce disruption at an unprecedented scale and speed. This is propelling CHROs into the spotlight of this human crisis. Their role has never been more stressful, vital and visible. Listen in as Kalel Khusahry, Managing Director of Talent & Organisation Practice at Accenture shared insights in to workforce resilience and how it’s important to keeping as many workers healthy, safe and employed as possible in the now, whilst still keeping an eye out to equipping people with new skills for the future. Read more...

Atlassian Team 2021 Keynote
Andrew Charlton
April 2021

A decade of change in only one year – what comes next?” Reinforcing that our theme of Epic Disruption was accelerated, not restrained, by the COVID epidemic, Andrew Charlton (Founder & Managing Director of Accenture’s alphabeta research) discusses the key data points of disruptive acceleration. More importantly, the impactful data that differentiates industries & the delta of business results (economic value) between those who embraced & leveraged digital change, vs the fast followers & laggards.

Optus Learning Fiesta Keynote
John Bolze
August 2020

In ‘The Journey: Building our Future World with AI’ John Bolze Accenture’s Global AI Customer Experience Lead with Tahney Keith Accenture’s ANZ Responsible AI Lead explore the topic of AI Technology, it’s influence on Customer Experience and the importance of Human + AI collaboration. They also explore how AI is changing the skills and roles that are becoming increasingly important for employees as AI becomes increasingly important as organisations use AI to make amazing customer experiences.

Keynote from the Atlassian Summit
Jonathan Restarick
April 2020

The fourth industrial revolution has epic implications. The size and speed of disruption is exponential, pervasive, intelligent, and continuous. These factors create material disruption to industries, business models and value chains, organizations, and even the nature of 'work' itself. The result is an environment of risk and reward – disrupt or be disrupted. So what's the organizational and human response? In addition, what are the implications and opportunities relative to the nature and future of work? How does my organization and team prepare for and embrace this disruption sustainably? Come learn how to transform without a ‘transformation program’ and ensure you don’t fall behind.

Keynote from Telstra Vantage
Jonathan Restarick
September 2019

We unpack Accenture’s research on digital disruption and its size, timing and impact on the communications industries, include and how new technologies such as 5G, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the disruption game once again. There’s always been technology disruption, but we look into what is different this time around? And we explore how the stakes are raised once a business model and value chain are disrupted. It’s E.P.I.C!


Jonathan Restarick
Senior Managing Director
Communications, Media and Technology ANZ
Accenture Australia
+61 3 8662 9388