Accenture: Putting people at the heart of mobile design

Accenture is on a journey of moving from enterprise-level applications to human-centric mobile applications to improve how our people work.

Employee experience

One dimension of Accenture’s journey to becoming a digital business is to improve the employee experience by bringing digitization to Accenture people in the same ways that they experience as consumers. This means our people expect to accomplish things on their mobile devices in simple and productive ways.

Recognizing this shift, our internal IT organization initiated a program to examine how mobile plays a role in Accenture people’s overall experience with the company. The program is focusing on capturing common “moments” employees have when interacting with key company systems and simplifying those moments through a mobile platform.

The opportunity—and challenge—for our internal IT is to move from a complex systems landscape to one that provides unified, integrated services and experiences across websites, devices and touchpoints. It’s also an opportunity—and a journey—to go beyond standard approaches and transform the way mobile apps are developed on an ongoing basis by creatively innovating, designing, developing and delivering.

Mobile strategy

An internal IT-led team worked with various IT leadership and functional stakeholders to create a mobile strategy. This initial strategy-setting was done in the context of Accenture’s overall mobile IT strategy that relies on several IT programs that are transforming Accenture’s technology function from its current model to a digital one. The strategy developed determined core “containers,” in essence, mobile apps, that would serve up the “moments” identified as critical to Accenture people to perform in a mobile way.

How are we making this strategy a reality?
We are adopting and maturing new ways of designing, developing and delivering mobile apps to our workforce. These include:

Design thinking. Project team members pushed the boundaries of design by creating an entire experience rather than creating an app that focuses on a business process or the transaction of tasks.

Specifically, the focus has been on designing app experiences that enable action or awareness moments that matter most to Accenture people. To do this, the project team looked at how employees use key systems on a daily, weekly and ongoing basis throughout their journeys at Accenture. This information is guiding and prioritizing the opportunities to create employee-focused applications.

Agile development. The project team used an Agile development approach to take the core “container” structure created during strategy development for rapid design, prototyping and development. Analytics generated on usage were used to identify top features employees used, and subsequently to prioritize which moments to deliver and which mobile containers to work on.

A growing list of mobile application prototypes has been developed to help the team communicate the enterprise-level experience vision and obtain user feedback for improvement. Most of these prototypes are actual applications today.

Team members continue to iterate on an ongoing basis in an Agile way to further develop experiences and smart capabilities in the mobile apps. They are also exploring how to move from delivering solutions in an Agile way to delivering experiences in an Agile way—moving from solution thinking to experience thinking—to address the several channels of an experience that can include physical, digital and human interactions.

Delivery. To enable all of this to happen, the underlying technology is being transformed from the current IT platform into a software-as-a-service platform that includes an experience architecture layer. This new layer is needed to enable experiences to be built into mobile apps and websites and to enable the apps to start consuming source services (via APIs), such as software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service.

Accenture's mobile app big picture and the layers of moments

An Innovative Journey

Accenture’s mobile apps journey is both innovative and challenging, as the team members involved adopt and mature new ways of designing, developing and delivering mobile apps to the workforce. A year into an ongoing journey, nearly all planned mobile apps have been released, yet continue to evolve on the trajectory of experience maturity. Accenture has adopted the approach that its mobile apps will evolve and change as users’ needs and perspectives change, and Accenture must be nimble and ready for that journey.

As the initiative advances, Accenture’s app ecosystem is reducing the company’s systems footprint, supporting increases in productivity, agility and employee satisfaction, and helping enhance employees’ professional lives. Progress is also being made in creating unified, integrated services and experiences at Accenture across websites, devices and touchpoints as employees accomplish things using multiple types of devices.

Mobility Matters! Video

Accenture CIO Andrew Wilson shows how new digital tools and innovative mobile technologies help employees to work more effectively every day.