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CASE STUDY: Accenture

Strengthening Accenture’s digital core to accelerate reinvention

How our interconnected foundation of cloud, data and AI is enabling advanced technologies such as generative AI to help our business reach new levels of performance.


What would it mean for your business if leaders could base decisions on data and insights with a view of the entire enterprise instead of being limited to the systems in their functional area? Imagine how advanced technologies like machine learning and generative AI could improve how you operate your business. And what if your IT infrastructure not only allowed new capabilities to be added easily, but also in a cost-effective way to support the immediate needs of your business and clients? 

Building a strong digital core

At Accenture, we have made all this possible by creating an interconnected foundation of cloud, data and AI—what we call the “digital core.” We moved from a complicated on-site technology landscape to a “composable IT architecture” that is now 95% in the cloud. This means that we can plug and play the best software as a service (SaaS) applications for our business and just use what we need, getting richer functionality and more speed all at a lower cost.

It also means that we can integrate data from across our core systems including SAP, Workday and Salesforce so that everyone is working from the same integrated data from across the enterprise—all in one place and in real time. Now, our leaders can use our 360° Value Navigator to see how our business is performing at any given moment and easily drill into specific areas, such as bookings projections in a particular market, to better understand what’s happening and why. We’ve also been able to add cognitive and AI capabilities so leaders can do scenario planning to see, for example, the impact an acquisition might have on profitability, which can lead to smarter decisions and even course-correction when necessary.

What’s more, our strong digital core allows us to add more advanced technologies such as generative AI to take our productivity and creativity to new levels. For example, we deployed Copilot for Microsoft 365, and our people who are using it report saving up to three hours of time per day and an improvement in the quality of their work.

Engaging the right partners

Throughout this journey of reinvention, our partner ecosystem has played an important role in helping Accenture and our clients use generative AI to drive business efficiency, cost optimization, innovation and talent change as part of a modern, global and forward-looking IT organization. Together with our partners, we built an integrated generative AI hub, a Center of Excellence that allows Accenture to strategically align on use cases, prioritize skill building and overall strategy for delivering generative AI solutions for ourselves and our clients. From improving security through our Identity Trust Engine—which helps us measure the risk associated to the digital identities operating in Accenture—to integrating data and analytics through SAP’s finance solutions—which allows us to run advanced scenario simulations— our technology partners help to build new capabilities that drive value for our business.

But it’s not just about the technology—it’s also about the people who use it and building their skills.

Preparing the workforce

We recognize that generative AI will transform the workforce, which is why we are actively preparing our people for these changes. We provide extensive training to our top leaders so they can understand the technology and tap into its endless possibilities. And by the end of 2024, we aim to equip over 250,000 of our people with new skills to use emerging and exciting AI tools responsibly through innovative learning courses, such as data literacy programs, our Digital Transformation Academy and our Technology Quotient program.

And as we take an early leadership position in generative AI, we expect to increase the speed, agility, quality and consistency of our work while improving the experience for our people. In fact, we are already seeing this come to fruition across our organization; for example, in Sales we’re using generative AI to create draft and update proposals, which has increased productivity by 35%.

These are just a few examples of how our strong digital core is enabling us to continuously reinvent every part of our business and embrace new ways of working. Breaking down silos, changing the way we work and introducing advanced tools is providing more value to the business, with 30% of our outcomes driven by data, analytics or AI- and generative AI-led initiatives.

By leveraging the power of generative AI on top of our interconnected digital core, we are increasing our agility and resilience, while achieving new levels of performance and helping our clients navigate their own reinvention journeys.