Accenture: Three-steps to a timeless Intelligent Enterprise
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”