Nov 16, 2020

Accenture: Three-steps to a timeless Intelligent Enterprise

Intelligent Enterprise
Janet Brice
3 min
intelligent Enterprise
Building an Intelligent Enterprise to withstand the test of time and respond to the challenges of-COVID-19 is the focus of a report from Accenture...

The right action taken now in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic can help companies succeed next and adapt to the “never normal,” according to Accenture who has produced a three-step plan to build an Intelligent enterprise to withstand the test of time.

Consultants Accenture report COVID-19 is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime and is changing human attitudes and behaviours forcing organisations to adapt. “The need to respond won’t end when the virus’s immediate threat eventually recedes.”

“Companies should consider more than just the urgent needs of the NOW—they should accelerate the build of an Intelligent Enterprise for the NEXT and to out manoeuvre uncertainty in the new normal or, more accurately, the NEVER NORMAL,” says the report.

The measures companies are putting in place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic are driving the adoption of Intelligent Enterprise trends and are outlined in a new report from Accenture, Building the Intelligent Enterprise Learning from COVID-19 to create lasting agility and resiliency.

The survey revealed 76% of business leaders agree that current business models will be unrecognisable in the next five years. Based on Accenture’s research with the World Economic Forum, organisations of the future will be less hierarchical, more liquid and increasingly project- or task-based. 

“They bring multi-disciplinary teams together in a fluid manner around customer experiences, products and market growth. This agility has clear benefits: agile organisations have 16% long-term EBITDA growth compared with 6% for non-agile ones,” commented Accenture.

What is Intelligent Enterprise?

  • Data-driven in a differentiated way, Intelligent Enterprises adjust go-to-market strategy, product mix and ecosystem partnerships based on leading indicators.
  • Integrated to optimise for scale and efficiency. They can be modular to simplify decision rights, increase speed to market and adapt to market demands. They are powered by cloud technologies to enable agility and faster speed to market
  • Collaborates with a broad range of ecosystem partners, including academic institutions, start-ups, alliances, and competitors to meet talent needs and new capabilities. 

According to Accenture, Intelligent Enterprise is human centred. “It is liquid in the way the company gains access to capabilities and assets. It is enhanced by human + machine collaborative intelligence, living in terms of how capabilities flow to work and modular to allow for the different needs of business units, employees, clients, customers and suppliers.”

Accenture calls for CEOs to focus on the following three foundational elements to build an Intelligent Enterprise:

  1. Enterprise agility and resilience

Agile operating models that help rapid responsiveness and ensure their people feel safe, connected, and seen. Many companies are standing up crisis command centres to enable the virtual, digital workforce and agile, multi-disciplinary teams to focus on critical business issues. Capabilities built now will endure in the future.

  1. Rethink end-to-end value chains

Short-term, customer and supply channels are being shored up and ecosystem partners are rapidly being called upon for surge capacity or business survival. As business leaders take the lessons from NOW to prepare for NEXT, they are refreshing their ecosystems and alliances, distribution channels and integrated planning, and forecasting capabilities to de-risk and diversify. 

  1. Reimagine the ways you work and partner

The ‘white space’ that now exists for the reimagination of work and business processes. Companies’ responses during the crisis will redefine the speed at which organisations can move to innovate, pivot, invest, decide, and reorganise. This will form the foundations for the future of work in the NEVER NORMAL

“Our research showed that operational agility is an outcome when the right combination of intelligent characteristics - human, living, enhanced, liquid and modular - is applied to an organisation. 

“If CEOs are playing it right, their companies can emerge stronger,” concludes the report.

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

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.”


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