Oct 30, 2020

Accenture: Calls for a cloud-first approach from CEOs

Accenture
Cloud
Technology
Sustainability
Janet Brice
3 min
Cloud technology
Migration to the public cloud can cut CO2 emissions by 59 million tons per year which equates to taking 22 million cars off the road, reports Accenture...

Business leaders need to prioritise a “cloud first” approach to allow their companies to become more sustainable and discover new sources of innovation and growth, reports Accenture.

A focused approach on cloud migration can reduce global carbon (CO2) emissions, drive greater circularity and result in more sustainable products and services, outlines the paper entitled, The green behind the cloud.

According to Accenture, the sustainable cloud journey involves different levels of ambition, “the greater the ambition, the greater the benefits”. Migrations to the public cloud can reduce CO2 emissions by 59 million tons per year which equates to taking 22 million cars off the road.

A public cloud is computing services provided by third parties and offered over the public Internet. They are available for purchase on-demand.

“Companies have historically driven financial, security, and agility benefits through cloud, but sustainability is becoming an imperative,” reveals the report.

A total of 44% of CEOs in the United Nations Global Compact - Accenture Strategy CEO Study on Sustainability see a net-zero future for their company in the next 10 years.

Drivers like greater workload flexibility, better server utilisation rates, and more energy-efficient infrastructure all make public clouds more cost efficient than enterprise-owned data centres.

Cloud migrations can unlock:

  • Clean energy transitions enabled by cloud-based geographic analyses 
  • Material waste reductions from better data insights
  • Targeted medical Research & Development (R&D)

1. Select with purpose

The first step is to choose a carbon-thoughtful provider. Cloud operators set different corporate commitments towards sustainability, which in turn determine how they plan, build, power, operate, and retire their data centres.

2. Build with ambition

The journey toward a sustainable cloud involves three ambition levels: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) without major design, sustainable software engineering practices and application optimisation for fabric of the cloud. IaaS migrations involve migrating applications from enterprise owned to cloud without major redesigns of applications or workflows.

3. Innovate further

Companies can unlock greater financial, societal and environmental benefits through cloud-based operations and sustainable products and services.

Cloud providers have unique scale and financial incentives and can work with stakeholders in adopting the circular economy when it comes to hardware. Accenture estimates that enterprise technology manufacturers can capture an additional 16% of operating profit by designing products for longevity, modularity and circularity. 

Accenture points out companies that choose their cloud journey wisely will gain “gain unprecedented levels of innovation leading to both a greener planet and a greener balance sheet.

“At Accenture, we practice what we preach: Today we run a full 95% of our applications on the cloud. The migration led to $14.5 million in benefits after the third year. Another $3 million in annualised costs were saved by right-sizing service consumption.”

For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

Follow Business Chief on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Share article

May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”

 

Share article