Accenture Research Finds that Superstacks are Spreading Throughout Mobility and Enterprise Markets

By Tony Rizzo, Editor in Chief — May 15, 2012

Mobility, enterprise computing and consumer electronics companies in the high-tech industry are being heavily impacted by a new business model called "superstacks" according to new Accenture research. Accenture defines a superstack as a more extensive and cohesive integration of operating systems, semi­conductor chips, devices, applications and end-user services than the industry has traditionally achieved.

The research also revealed that the primary driver of superstacks will be the mobility market, particularly in the smartphone arena where superstack-based products have already been made commercially available. The research also found that more mergers and acquisitions will occur as superstacks continue to coalesce in the digital ecosystem.

The research findings, based on interviews with high-tech executives globally and interactions with clients, are summarized in a new report, "Competing in a High-Tech Industry Superstack." The research examined whether industry executives were aware of the superstack trend and its impact on their businesses, such as smartphones and tablets (mobility), data centers and the cloud (enterprise computing), and the digital home (consumer electronics).
 
The new report summarizes results of phone interviews with 30 executives of large high-tech companies including chief executive officers and vice presidents of strategy and business units. An overwhelming majority (83 percent) of the respondents said they have been or are being impacted by superstacks. Seventy-one percent said they have formalized their superstack strategies and set priorities such as owning critical intellectual property assets, fostering collaborative cultures across the stack, and managing strategic initiatives. Virtually all (96 percent) said superstacks bring their companies more opportunities than threats.
 
"Competing in the superstack arena is a matter of survival as the high-tech industry moves full-throttle in this direction,” said Mitch Cline, managing director of Accenture's Electronics & High-Tech business. “Some high-tech sectors are already there, such as mobile handsets, digital media services and connected TVs. Other sectors may take longer to adapt because they’re not as far along in this superstack evolution."
 
When survey participants were asked which industry forces they expect would have the biggest financial impacts on the high-tech industry over the next three years, more than two-thirds (70 percent) cited mobility. Cloud computing and consumerization of IT in enterprises followed with 50 and 43 percent, respectively.
 
"Fueling new business models in healthcare, financial services and retail, mobility is by far the most powerful and biggest game-changer creating the need for super­stacks," Cline added. "With mobility superstack battles now spreading to enterprise and consumer markets, the implications are profound for all high-tech players."

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