Accenture: Reach for the cloud
Reach for the cloud is the message from Accenture who are urging businesses to urgently take up cloud adoption as it is the key to unlocking new value.
“Migration is the essential first step in maximising cloud value. It provides scalability, resilience, security and lower total cost of ownership,” comments Accenture.
“There’s no room for delay. Every enterprise should be looking to accelerate cloud adoption as a matter of urgency. Get smart on migration and start reaching for the cloud,” is the call from Accenture in the company's new report, Cloud migration is a must: How to get it right.
According to the consultants, cloud is not only essential for a successful digital transformation but due to the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial if enterprises are able to show resilience, agility, adaptability and scalability.
Key elements for a shift to cloud
Accenture highlight a number of key elements needed for a shift to cloud technology but primarily focus on the first step of migration in this paper.
Key points include:
- Cloud value is an essential requirement for digital transformation
- Successful migrations improve the efficiency and resilience of IT systems and enables business to act fast and at speed
- A migration that balances quality and speed requires a plan that is aligned to the business strategy
- A secure transition requires leveraging partners and industrialised capabilities, addressing security, and developing skills for success
Three steps to a successful migration
Strategy, planning and execution are the three key elements towards paving the way for a successful cloud migration, according to Accenture.
“Most enterprise migrations are not “big bang” events moving sizable portions of applications and data to the cloud, rather it is often an incremental exercise moving smaller bundles in waves over time based on strategic value, complexity and risk.
“As a result, it is important to ensure each migration initiative aligns to the broader business strategy. Failure to do so can lead to disjointed capabilities and lower performance,” advises Accenture
“Be smart about priorities. It’s important to stratify and prioritise the portfolio in a way that realises the most value from the migration as quickly as possible,” comments Accenture whose 7Rs approach provides a framework for carrying out the task.
7Rs approach to migration
- Retire the applications you don’t need
- Retain on-premises apps that are complex/costly to migrate
- Rehost applications in the cloud
- Replatform applications that need to run on a different operating system
- Replace apps for which better SaaS solutions are available
- Refactor applications that need significant code rework for the cloud
- Reimagine business processes
To shift data “centres of gravity” to the cloud, enterprises should establish a strategic data architecture to ensure that data is available to all consumers says the report.
“Migration cannot be a purely IT-driven exercise. Most of the pitfalls encountered in cloud migrations occur when IT and the business aren’t on the same page. So, it’s vital to get application owners on board as early as possible in the migration,” comments Accenture.
The four final points to successful cloud migration include:
- Make the most of the chosen cloud provider. “It is critical to find the right partner(s) to ensure your migrations are impeccably designed, prioritised, executed and evolved,” point out Accenture.
- Industrialise the journey. “Many companies look to partners such as Accenture to execute migrations with minimal disruptions. Automated tools like Accenture’s myNav and myWizard can be critical in ensuring your migration will succeed at pace.”
- Think security from day one
- Help your people adapt to the new
Accenture point out that cloud migration is only the start of the journey for enterprises. “It needs to be seen in its broader context: as a means of enabling the IT environment to be run in a different way and unlocking new value for the business,” concludes the report.
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
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.
- 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
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- 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
- 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.”