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Accenture: Three-steps to a timeless 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

Janet Brice
|Nov 16|magazine9 min read

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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