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‘Leapfroggers’ Using Emerging Technologies to Grow Revenues 5X Compared to Laggards

Cloud, AI ML and Edge are the central revenue-generation centers for leaders that evolved into leapfroggers during the pandemic. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit our lives, the technology industry could be distinctly identified. Either you were a leader or a laggard based on your tenacity to adopt, scale, and consolidate your technology stacks across the organization. Within a year, things have changed. According to Accenture, leaders have become leapfroggers.

What are leapfroggers?

According to Accenture, leapfroggers are a new class of customer groups that use technology to compress digital transformation. The sheer pace at which companies are adopting technologies to accelerate their digital transformation journeys separates them from laggards.

Result: Leapfroggers are outpacing their peers with 4x revenue growth, especially if the investments in tech are made during the COVID-19 period in 2020-21.

Characteristics of Leapfroggers

  1. This group stands out in its ability to quickly master the balance between systems strength and increased innovation.
  2. Leapfroggers compressed their digital transformations into a shorter time frame through an aggressive and progressive technology strategy
  3. They converted the challenges of the past year into business opportunities and advantage.

During the pandemic period, leading companies had amplified their technology investments. These investments significantly extended their growth advantage over competitors. The investments made during the COVID-19 technology undeniably became indispensable to business success and directly enabled companies to not only survive but also thrive during one of the most disruptive times in history.

Leapfroggers Adopted Emerging Technologies to Strengthen and Diversify their Businesses

Accenture Research found COVID-19 compressed digital transformation. Companies are adopting emerging technologies like Blockchain, Extended Reality, Open Source Coding, 3D Printing, and Robotics to boost their revenue channels.

How Leapfroggers Lead in the Race

Leapfroggers built a foundational cloud platform that delivers the cost savings to help flip IT budgets. This allowed them to switch to innovation from maintenance. An early adoption into Cloud can “keep the lights on” during tough phases brought upon by a pandemic.

Understanding the Concept of ‘Systems Strength’ +  Flip Size

Building an Agile Cloud adoption is the most effective to evolve into a leader.

  • Leaders build core “system strengths’ within Cloud to further accentuate their ability to adopt advanced and emerging technologies like DevSecOps, IoT, Edge and AI ML Automation.
  • Moreover, leapfroggers “flip their IT budget allocation” to embrace innovation.

On the IT infrastructure side, DvSecOps, serverless computing, virtualization and containerization, dockers and containers, microservice and FaaS made the strongest impact.

IoT, AI and ML, Edge and Fog Computing continue to drive meaningful outcomes for businesses.

Cloud, AI ML and Edge are the central revenue-generation centers for leaders that evolved into leapfroggers during the pandemic.

Ramnath Venkataraman, global lead, Integrated Global Services, Accenture Technology said –

“Our research scored companies on their ‘Systems Strength’ — a measure of technology adoption, application of technologies at scale, and organizational and cultural readiness for tech-enabled innovation. Strong Systems Strength, combined with a “Flip Size” that substantially pivots IT budgets towards innovation, enables Leaders to greatly extend their growth over Laggards.”

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“Meanwhile, Leapfroggers also show tremendous progress by maintaining Systems Strength and infusing innovation across the enterprise. In fact, Leapfroggers are now growing their revenue at four times the rate of Laggards.”

Impact of Technology on Revenue

‘Leaders’ are now growing revenue at five times the rate of ‘Laggards’.

  • According to Accenture, Leapfroggers had adopted some form of cloud technology by 2017, but that figure rose to 98% by 2020.
  • Scaling new innovations became the top priority for Leapfroggers during the pandemic. 67% seek to aggressively increase revenue from non-core business lines.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Leaders prioritize employee happiness by providing digital-based flexible work arrangements, compared to just 43% of Laggards.

This is exceptionally higher than the doubled growth rate that Leaders had reported during the pre-COVID times. In sharp contrast, laggards are not only finding it difficult trying to catch up with the trends but also losing established revenue channels to leaders / leapfroggers.

Quick Stats on Technology Investments
Cloud Technology

Over 70% of Leaders increased investments in cloud security and 68% in hybrid cloud.


Leaders also dug deeper into IoT technology (70%) and AI and machine learning (59%).

Leapfroggers transformed their technology strategies and priorities in a short time frame, using the crisis to increase the use of advanced and emerging technologies by 17% and scaling technology across their enterprises. Leapfroggers also fostered thoughtful organizational change to take further advantage of these technologies and compressed their transformations from years to months.

How to Become a Leapfrogger?

Accenture has revealed the roadmap for laggards. The roadmap assures greater success with tech strategies with these three imperatives.

Replatform to the cloud to build Systems Strength

Replatform can reduce the negative effects of redundant technologies and disconnected data across the IT stack. In return, replatform allows you to gain superior computing power with flexibility.

Reframe to an innovation-first technology strategy.

Leapfroggers excel at shifting their mindset to a technology-first approach.

They view potential downturns as opportunities to innovate with new technology.

Reach by expanding access to technology.

Leapfroggers emphasize on the need to address and improve personalized employee upskilling, well-being, and mental health across internal business functions.

On average, leapfroggers target at least twice (2.1x) more business processes for digital transformation than others. If you are doubling down your efforts to embrace digital transformation, chances are high you will become a leapfrogger by the end of 2021 as well.


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