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CLIENT CASE STUDY


Accenture: 12 actions toward cost-efficient IT

Accenture’s internal IT organization has demonstrated that an IT function can simultaneously cut costs and drive high performance.

Overview

A cornerstone of Accenture’s success is its technology leadership. Not only does the company leverage information technology (IT) to help its clients maximize their performance, Accenture provides leading approaches in how organizations plan for, buy and manage IT resources. By focusing on continuous improvement and business value through 12 actions, Accenture’s internal IT organization has fundamentally improved the company’s IT efficiency and effectiveness while signifi¬cantly lowering IT costs. In so doing, Accenture laid the foundation for a digital future.

Opportunity

Accenture’s world-class internal IT has been achieved through years of hard work and transformational change. The journey began back in 2000, when Accenture’s internal IT organization began reducing costs and increasing investments in innovative technologies. The initial stage involved aligning Accenture’s IT operating model with Accenture’s go-to-market strategy and instituting a strong IT governance model. From there the focus was on investing aggressively to build Accenture’s IT infrastructure and rationalize its systems and applications.

Accenture expanded rapidly, entering new markets and enhancing its global delivery capabilities. New joint ventures and affiliate companies needed support from common systems. Accenture’s business model had evolved to include business consulting, technology services and outsourcing, each of which had varying IT requirements.

Mobility was becoming increasingly important as employees worked flexibly from office, home or client premises. With so many employees always on the move, Accenture needed the latest technology solutions and a robust messaging and collaboration platform.

Accenture also wanted to achieve greater efficiency by driving down infrastructure costs, managing service levels more productively and improving internal employee satisfaction with IT services.

More than 10 years later, IT produced impressive results: increased efficiencies, stunning cost reductions and a 300+ percent return on Accenture’s transformational IT initiative.

The journey since then to present day has made Accenture’s IT organization leaner, stronger and cost-efficient. Despite Accenture’s workforce growth to approximately 400,000 users, IT spend person has fallen by 73 percent since 2001—a number dramatically below industry figures.

Solution

Looking back, Accenture’s transformation is a journey that other organizations can learn from. A closer look at the initiatives undertaken and decisions made along Accenture’s IT transformation journey suggests that the path to a cost-efficient IT organization includes at least these 12 actions:

1. Set strategy and governance

7. Consolidate and virtualize data centers

2. Run IT like a business

8. Transform the network  

3. Centralize, standardize and
consolidate

9. Migrate to cloud services for e-mail and
collaboration

4. Source smarter

10. Transform processes 

5. Rationalize applications

11. Consolidate suppliers and contracts 

6. Manage by portfolio

12. Benefits realization


Results

For many companies, the IT function is a necessary but expensive cost center. Accenture’s internal IT organization has demonstrated that an IT function can simultaneously cut costs and drive high performance.

By sharpening the IT organization’s focus on effectiveness, IT has become much more strategic in its decision making, more efficient and more responsive to its customers’ needs. In addition, because the IT organization can accurately monitor and measure the business value it delivers, it is able to support Accenture’s efforts to become a more digital business.

“Our IT strategy continues to evolve as the business changes and as we have matured as an IT organization,” says Merim Becirovic, Managing Director – Accenture Internal IT Governance and Enablement. “Yet we keep finding ways to add more value to the business.”

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