Written By: Vaughn Geuseppe Alviar
Breakthroughs came in warp speed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruption is, after all, a spark plug for innovation.
However, the Business Futures 2021 report from global professional services company, Accenture, showed that while 88 percent of companies finally have a clear picture of the challenges they face today, only 6 percent are completely confident in their current abilities to foresee and respond to future disruption.
In the same report, Accenture shared six “signals of change” to help companies prioritize innovation in order to survive and forge ahead.
First, Accenture identifies Learning From the Future, telling organizations to use data for predicting challenges. In Pushed to the Edge, it suggests that companies decentralize decision-making to suit fragmented markets and new consumer behaviors. Third is Sustainable Purpose, building sustainability into operations.
The fourth signal, Supply Unbounded, predicts incentives in localizing supply chains and moving production to point of demand. Real Virtualities seeks both real-life and virtual ways for people to live, work, consume and socialize. Finally, New Scientific Method asks companies to solve global issues using science.
These signals, according to Accenture, will lead business executives to navigate disruptions with confidence – and not just see, but also seize, their best future.
Advanced tech + human ingenuity
Being a trailblazer in the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry in the Philippines, Accenture is no stranger to driving business outcomes and creating value for clients across industries.
“What sets Accenture apart is our expertise in combining Filipino ingenuity, process innovation and advanced technologies to transform businesses intelligently,” said Benedict Hernandez, Accenture Operations Client Experience Lead for Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East.
This is highlighted in Intelligent Operations. Leveraging data, intelligence and insights, Accenture helps clients capitalize on innovation to outmaneuver uncertainty. This helped an international hotel group streamline financial transactions and a global beauty brand refine its supply chain using Accenture’s Artificial Intelligence and robotic process automation tools. Intelligent solutions by Accenture also improved payroll processes, lead generation and sales, and customer service, among others, for various clients.
To deliver these innovative solutions, Accenture nurtures its people through continuous training, certification support and leadership development. In the last fiscal year alone, Accenture invested more than $866 million globally to upskill its people for more complex and rewarding roles.
In the Philippines, Accenture Operations hosts an Innovation Congress where breakthrough and technology-driven ideas take center stage. The company encourages employees to join the InnoVision Arena competition, where they are asked to pitch new ideas in two categories: Innovate for Business and Innovate for Society. This year alone, they gathered 40,000+ new ideas that are aimed at addressing our evolving needs and challenges.
“Talent is everything for us at Accenture. We constantly challenge our people to innovate the way they work, create value and even reinvent themselves. We are continuously upskilling people to become Business Advisors, Tech Masters, Robotic Process Automation Developers, Solutions Architects, Analytics Advisors, Data Scientists, Data Engineers, and Cloud and Security Experts,” Hernandez noted.
The company has also made it a point to recruit people that share the same yearning for innovation. To do this in the present day, the company launched the Intelligent Operations Innovation and Career Hub, a virtual destination that showcases Accenture innovation in action. For example, a bot named AXEL takes you on a tour of the space jampacked with exciting activities, including a treasure hunt for hidden objects that reveal information about the company. Visitors can also play a game with IRIS, a bot that helps prevent people from sending e-mails and sensitive information, wittingly or unwittingly, to incorrect recipients. And, at the hub’s Open Roles booth, candidates can take an online assessment that gauges their skills and explore job openings that fit them at Accenture.
Mastering change through innovation
Innovation is embedded in Accenture’s culture and its people are leading the way to create meaningful change in the way people and communities work and live.
During its Tech Month celebration, Accenture held its annual Tech Summit with the theme, “Mastering Change in the Never Normal.” The summit highlighted exciting industry trends and thought-provoking ideas that are shaping the future. Participants had the opportunity to visit virtual booths about Cloud First, Sustainability, Security and Inclusion and Diversity, as well as attend insightful discussions by Accenture experts about Design + Tech, Living Systems and Industry X. Accenture also held its annual Program The Future competition that challenged students to gamify the implementation of sustainable solutions through technology.
“No doubt, technology is reshaping how we live, consume and connect with other people on a daily basis,” explained Ambe Tierro, Technology Lead of Accenture in the Philippines, Africa and Asia Pacific. “In addition to clean code, smart algorithms and fast computers, we likewise need creativity, empathy and human-centered processes when designing technology that benefits and helps us unlock opportunities for our people, our clients and the communities we serve.”
The company’s Philippine Hub for Innovation (PHI) is one way of using modern technology to keep the workforce innovative amid the pandemic. The PHI is the virtual counterpart of the Accenture Liquid Studio, a physical space where employees would prototype and test out technologies. With PHI, Accenture can now co-innovate with clients within a customizable venue online; and teams can gather to ideate solutions unbound by physical space. Here, they can hold design thinking workshops at the Design Dojo, help clients maximize opportunities in the Cloud Zone and highlight the importance of sustainability practices in the Green IT Zone.
Accenture’s human and technological assets provide it with a clear reading of the signs of change and an endless toolbox of innovations that can empower businesses to weather challenges ahead and thrive in uncertainty. Organizations must not fear the uncertainties brought about by disruption. On the contrary, Tierro said, disruptions set things in motion to create systemic change. “And Accenture is here to help companies, in the Philippines or beyond, to become masters of change through the power of technology innovation and human ingenuity.”
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