97% of businesses say they are racing to reinvent themselves through the use of technology innovation, according to a new Accenture report.

6,200 firms took part in this latest survey, which reveals how key technology trends are likely to shape businesses and industries over the next three years.

The report shows that while embedding technology into business strategies is now a higher priority than ever before, there is a need for Irish business leaders to start thinking about technology as a critical differentiator for their businesses, versus merely an enabler of their products and services.

Just 16% of Irish respondents said that technology is driving their organisation's overall strategy and goals, compared to 30% of businesses globally, while under a third feel the pace of digital transformation at their business is accelerating.

"We first said 'every business is a digital business' back in our 2013 Technology Vision report. If there was ever a time when this was proved unequivocally true, it was this last year," said Dave Kirwan, Head of Technology at Accenture in Ireland.

"We’re seeing that companies who were leaders pre-Covid are now doubling down on their investments in technology, while others are faced with the challenge of a lack of the digital foundation needed to rapidly pivot," he said.

Mr Kirwan said there is an imperative for Irish businesses to adopt a "nimble" and "agile" approach to technology investments.

"Moving forward, the most dynamic and sustainable architectures will be the ones that let businesses tap into the full spectrum of technology capabilities.

"We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn this moment of truth for technology into a moment of trust – embracing the power of exponential technology change to completely reimagine and rebuild the future of business and the human experience," he said.

A further 88% of Irish executives surveyed agree that to be agile and resilient, their organisations will need to fast forward their digital transformation with cloud at its core.

Meanwhile, 81% of businesses said they feel their employees just faced the largest and fastest human behavioural change in history due to Covid-19.

In a sign of what is to come, 38% of Irish businesses say they have invested in digital collaboration tools to support their remote workforce during Covid-19.

92% said they believe the remote workforce opens up the market for 'difficult to find' talent and expands the competition for talent among organisations.