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June 30, 2016
Hard-hitting truths for leadership teams seeking quick returns on tech investments
By: Susy Tamminga

To get more from technology investments, oil and gas leaders need to assess current system performance and boldly and confidently aim higher. Volatile markets and continuing cost pressures call for greater speed, agility and action, which is why business leaders are moving to next-generation systems that can transform corporate and back-office functions within months.

Digital advances and cloud-based technologies have paved the way for rapidly deployable systems. Two examples—Accenture High Velocity HR suite and Accenture Upstream Direct, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution—enable new capabilities in roughly three to six months, rather than multiple years for traditional implementations. 

Pre-built functionality and processes, along with advances on multiple digital fronts, enable faster realization of benefits. But what enables the quickened pace?

Change does not cause organizational dysfunction, it merely exposes it.

To derive value at speed, oil and gas leaders need to address organizational barriers prior to starting implementation. The organization and program must be foundationally rock solid from the beginning- In contrast to traditional, extended system implementations, there is no time to accommodate for organizational dysfunction. 

For optimal benefits, rapid system deployments require business leaders to: 

  • Be unwavering, relentless and decisive. The message must be, “this is our future, and if you want to be a part of it, get on board now”

  • Be clear on value. Link program goals to how the company makes money and communicate through all organization levels

  • Prioritize. Recognize enterprise goals as higher priority than individual change challenges

  • Identify barriers. Detect potential blockers early and empower their team leaders with the authority to remedy

  • Reward performance. Establish incentives and consequences to help drive both individual and team performance

  • Foster trust. Acknowledge that change is uncomfortable, but people trust their leadership and therefore trust the process

Accelerated models can reduce costs for businesses only if leaders are committed to toeing the line and putting skin in the game. If the foundation for addressing change barriers is lacking in the organization or in the program, results are likely to be subpar. In most cases, significant time and money are required to get things back on track, which undermines the purpose for taking the fast lane in the first place. Organizations that invest in the upfront work are more likely to achieve lasting long-term benefits.

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