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ACCENTURE INSTITUTE FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE


Silicon Valley’s lessons for CIOs and innovators

Silicon Valley is home to many of the biggest names in high-tech and is a hothouse for creativity and innovation.

Overview

Silicon Valley, the global center for technology innovation, is also becoming a hub for innovative enterprise IT practices. Learn:

  • How the region’s CIOs are creating more agile and innovative IT organizations and infrastructure

  • What the Valley’s special culture means for the future of IT and analytics

  • How CIOs manage the high expectations of the technologists who run their companies

  • How Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists can continue to transform startup ideas and innovation into successful businesses and new jobs in the future

DOWNLOAD DECODING THE CONTRADICTORY CULTURE OF SILICON VALLEY PDF [PDF, 204 KB]

DECODING THE CONTRADICTORY CULTURE

Home to many of the biggest names in high-tech and with the highest concentration of high-tech manufacturing and workers, Silicon Valley has been a hothouse for creativity and innovation that’s notoriously difficult to replicate elsewhere. What explains the uniqueness? Is it only the Valley’s highly educated, diverse and inventive talent or, does the overall workplace culture play a key role? What are the components of that culture? What fosters these characteristics?

An Accenture Institute for High Performance research study shows the culture in Silicon Valley consists of five seemingly contradictory characteristics—a complex mix of elements that differentiates the region and allows it to flourish.

Silicon Valley IT professionals are:

  • Laid-back yet driven for speed

  • Committed yet independent

  • Competitive yet cooperative

  • Pragmatic yet optimistic

  • Motivated by money yet fulfilled by challenging work.

Silicon Valley Tech Innovation Ecosystem Graphic

DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC [PDF, 284 KB]

DOWNLOAD THE PODCAST [MP3, 34MB] [Running time 50:30]

LISTEN IN iTUNES

Silicon Valley, the global center for technology innovation, is also becoming a hub for innovative enterprise IT practices. Learn:

  • How the region’s CIOs are creating more agile and innovative IT organizations and infrastructure

  • What the Valley’s special culture means for the future of IT and analytics

  • How CIOs manage the high expectations of the technologists who run their companies

  • How Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists can continue to transform startup ideas and innovation into successful businesses and new jobs in the future

READ CALIFORNIA DREAMING IN ACCENTURE'S OUTLOOK

ENTERPRISE IT IN SILICON VALLEY

Enterprise IT in Silicon Valley

Research by Accenture revealed the IT departments at Silicon Valley’s tech companies have adopted an agile, speed-it-up mentality. By using agile, scrum-style development techniques with deliverables rolling out every couple of weeks, and by benefiting from constant iteration on the business side, they’re able to get to a point where they can deliver new capabilities into stores every few weeks.

CIOs in these companies are also networking with Valley technology leaders and venture capitalists in search of creative solutions to traditional IT problems.

These management innovations are spreading from Valley tech companies to older Bay Area companies. By borrowing from the newer playbook, learning from the technology practices and the creative, connected culture of their counterparts in Silicon Valley, Bay Area companies in other industries are not only increasing their competitiveness with agile business management but also making make themselves more attractive to a new generation of IT workers. The chief information officers (CIOs) of these companies find being located close to a rich source of innovation and startups a real advantage. Here’s what leading IT executives in the Valley do differently and what other companies can learn from them:

  • They speed up, take risks, break things and take a fix fast approach.

  • They build an IT infrastructure that’s primed for experimentation, speed and scale.

  • They make quick decisions and run short projects with fast cycle times.

  • They look for ways to support innovation and the business agenda.

  • They take advantage of their location to gather entrepreneurial ideas and talent.

  • They value inter-company collaboration using open technologies and standards. They stand out in a place where enterprise IT professionals are often seen as second class citizens.

  • Read these articles about Enterprise IT in Silicon Valley:

    Enterprise IT in Silicon Valley—Graphic

    DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC [PDF, 455 KB]

    SILICON VALLEYS VENTURE CAPITAL INDUSTRY

    DOWNLOAD THE PODCAST [MP3, 45.4MB] [Running time 49:39]

    LISTEN IN iTUNES

    Venture capitalists have been a major driving force behind Silicon Valley, helping to transform startup ideas and innovation into successful businesses and job creation.

    Without them, we wouldn’t have Apple, Google, Intel, Genentech or Oracle. But the industry is at a crossroads, putting corporate innovation and job creation at risk.

    VCs historically are among the most efficient creators of technology innovation and job growth. But today, entrepreneurs can increasingly take advantage of technology (like the cloud and the smartphone) to develop and deliver products to customers at much lower costs than before.

    This is reducing their need to raise venture capital. Additionally, alternative funding sources are encroaching upon the VC’s traditional turf.

    What can VCs do to evolve and adapt, and continue to boost wealth and job creation?

    A new Accenture study into challenges and opportunities before the industry offers five suggestions:

    1. VCs must venture beyond the Bay area

    2. Adapt to the new funding reality

    3. Step up efforts to diversify investment

    4. Create new exit strategies

    5. Recommit to venturing

    The study also offers five ways the government can assist venture capitalists to reaffirm their commitment to innovation and startup businesses.


    DOWNLOAD IF VENTURE CAPITAL FALTERS, WILL JOB CREATION FADE? PDF [PDF, 711 KB]

    About the Institute for High Performance

    The Accenture Institute for High Performance develops and publishes practical insights into critical management issues and global economic trends. Its worldwide team of researchers connects with Accenture's business leaders to demonstrate how organizations become and remain high performers through original, rigorous research and analysis.


    Research Team

    Jeanne Harris

    Jeanne Harris is the former managing director of information technology research at the Accenture Institute for High Performance. Before Jeanne retired in November of 2014, she led the Institute’s global research agenda in the areas of information, technology and analytics.

     

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    Christopher DiGiorgio

    Christopher DiGiorgio is an executive research fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance. His research focuses on the economy and innovation ecosystem of Silicon Valley.

     

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    Allan Alter

    Allan Alter is a Senior Research Fellow specializing in the impact of technology on enterprises at the Accenture Institute for High Performance in Boston.

    He leads projects as part of the Institute’s global research agenda in the areas of information, technology strategy and digital business.

     

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