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Accenture High Performance IT Research

High Performers in IT:
Defined by Digital

Sitting at the intersection of business and technology, high performing CIOs are now a force in the boardroom—and driving the digital agenda. Accenture CTO Paul Daugherty shares his point of view.


Your new boss?
Your customer.

Strategy straight talk You can't think like a database. You have to think like a customer.
Why it's important High performers have moved beyond internally focused objectives like cost and productivity. The new bulls-eye is the customer experience.
What you should know High performers' top three business objectives relate to improving the customer's experience.
How IT can improve the customer experience
High performers are also... 1Getting social. Social channels open up collaboration and create personal dialogues with key customers. 2Building relationships. Both marketing and sales get a boost by giving potential customers what they want and listening to what current customers have to say.


Context is king

Strategy straight talk IT doesn't exist in a vacuum. If something impacts the business, it impacts IT, and vice versa.
Why it's important Global competition means that exploring business scenarios—economic, geopolitical, social and more—is absolutely crucial to IT planning.
What you should know High performers are consistently better than other organizations at scanning the horizon to look for potential challenges.
CIOs investment strategy for delivering strategic capabilities
High performers are also... 1Measuring their investment using business metrics. They expect to see those measures improving in the next year. 2Enhancing their reputations. High-performing IT leaders who regularly apply business metrics tend to stay in their positions longer, which means they demonstrate success—and raise their profiles among their peers—over the long term.


Business strategy and IT now work as one

Strategy straight talk The consolidation is complete. Your strategy IS your technology. End of story.
Why it's important Many CIOs are still troubleshooting and fixing problems instead of finding and acting on ways to create value. High performers seek out and invest in new ways that IT can deliver on business strategy and create new opportunities.
What you should know High performers' allocate far more of their budgets to delivering strategic capabilities.
Investigating global competition should inform the IT planning process
High performers are also... 1Tackling new projects. They allocate 7% more of their IT budgets to new projects than other organizations do. 2Adopting early. They're not waiting for technologies to mature before they act.


Bringing harmony to hybrid IT

Strategy straight talk High performers are master orchestrators of managing new and existing IT. They are leading the way in the new hybrid world.
Why it's important Legacy systems drag down performance and tie up valuable resources. Simpler, streamlined application portfolios are weightless by comparison, and let companies move fast and flex easily.
What you should know High performers are replacing their legacy architectures by moving more components to the cloud.
Moving data to the cloud can improve performance
High performers are also... 1Getting the outcomes they want. Almost half are seeing measurable improvements in agility, and 69% say their architecture transformations have led to cost reductions. 2Weaving together cloud capabilities. They're blending public and private cloud elements together in ways that always keep business value top of mind.


Fearlessly digital

Strategy straight talk The time has come to make the leap to digital. Every business is now a digital business.
Why it's important Digital is about much more than smart devices. It's driving how products are designed and produced, how transactions are created and managed, how collaboration happens, and how relationships are formed.
What you should know High performers have been experimenting with social, mobile, analytics and cloud. Also on their lists of what to learn from: virtualization, security and data management.
Experimenting and learning digital is important to high performing CIOs
High performers are also... 1Rolling out digital across their business. The knowledge they've gleaned from early experiences with digital gives them critical insights into how digital technologies can support other parts of their business. 2Embracing disruption. Leading their companies on truly innovative ventures helps them identify which technologies will revolutionize their business.


The power of self-service

Strategy straight talk Being truly digital means that many more customers, suppliers and employees can answer their own questions—so you don't have to.
Why it's important Breaking down barriers to self-service means that employees, suppliers, and even customers can help drive innovation, generate insights and probe new markets. They're no longer just "service tickets."
What you should know High performers' interactions with customers, suppliers and employees are increasingly self-service—but they still have room to grow.
High performers are leading the way in leveraging agile and iterative methodologies
High performers are also... 1Embracing B.Y.O.D. "Bring Your Own Device" is a creed that adds creativity as well as productivity. 2Aiming for dynamic self-service. Rather than wait for responses to service requests today's fickle customers can often service their own needs better.


Unearthing data gems

Strategy straight talk Creating actionable insights out of the data—wherever it comes from—is what "Big Data" is all about.
Why it's important CIOs are buried in data. The real struggle? Finding the nuggets to shape into valuable insights that generate actionable outcomes—and competitive advantage.
What you should know High performers are far ahead of other organizations in embedding real-time analytics-based decision-making tools in their business processes.
Organizations who embed real-time analytics-based decision-making tools into business processes have the competitive advantage
High performers are also... 1Becoming sophisticated data sources. They're investing in analytics to get better at capturing data and extracting valuable insights from it. 2Finding their focus. They're working to locate "insight gaps"—that is, blind spots that can obscure their business strategies.


Agility and speed.
The new normal

Strategy straight talk If you're not making change happen on the run, then instead of being agile, you could be increasingly vulnerable.
Why it's important Volatility in markets, partner engagements and business models can create new opportunities—as long as your organization is nimble enough to respond.
What you should know High performers are leading the way in leveraging agile and iterative methodologies, enabling them to adapt to new technologies and embed them in their businesses.
Customer, supplier and employee interactions are increasingly self-service for high performers
High performers are also... 1Trimming their application portfolios. Streamlining applications means many more staff are freed up to work on strategic imperatives. 2Moving beyond the monolith. They're working incrementally and making changes "in flight" rather than committing time and resources to large-scale rollouts that can put operations on hold.


Plug-and-play talent

Strategy straight talk Talent will drive future success. Figuring out where your opportunities are—and finding the right people to work on them—will pay off.
Why it's important Innovation is key to developing new platforms and processes, so today's CIOs constantly need new skills and talent. High performers look inside and outside of their companies to fill needs and plug knowledge gaps.
What you should know High performers source their IT partners strategically, aligning them with their business requirements and priorities.
High performance CIOs invest in new skills and talents through hiring innovative partners
High performers are also... 1Emphasizing communication skills. Today's collaborative workforce requires team members who can understand business needs, relate to colleagues in other departments, and adapt to changing technologies. 2Becoming comfortable with fluidity. Full-time staffers are not the only answer since much of today's talent not only accepts but expects constant change.


Uniting business risk and IT security

Strategy straight talk Risk management and IT security must be in the same room and on the same page.
Why it's important More and more organizations are finding their risk profiles defined by their investments in digital technologies. Intellectual property, product innovation and processes are now strategic business priorities. It's essential to protect the digital assets within.
What you should know High performers are growing their security and risk management functions by including IT, intellectual property, product innovation and business process in their scope.
High performers have expanded the scope of their security and risk management functions
High performers are also... 1Moving to active defense. It's not yet happening on a broad scale, but high performers are making the right moves to stay a step or three ahead of attackers. 2Attributing business value to security. They're actively tracking actual outcomes of incidents and breaches and measuring the impact on the overall business.
High Performance IT Research: Defined by Digital – Accenture 
Accenture's fourth High Performance IT research report identifies 10 key findings to help IT leaders drive their organizations into the digital future.
High Performance IT, IT Research, Digital IT, IT Leaders
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