German statesman and prolific writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” It’s a philosophy which we certainly live by in Global IT—and we’ve had plenty of opportunities to put this to the test in recent times.

I’m thinking of that week back in March, faced with the growing pandemic, when we decided to move our 500,000 staff to remote working. Business resiliency is always top of mind for us, but none of us expected to have to migrate our people on such a scale and in such a short time. And even though we’d all had plenty of experience working from airplanes, client sites or hotels, none of us could have imagined a situation where our diverse delivery centers would have to be as flexible in accommodating non-office-based working. For a start, our delivery teams primarily use desktop computers and don't always have stable Internet connections at home. It meant we needed to ship home more than 80,000 desktop computers, monitors, keyboards, mice, as well as 33,000 wireless hotspots to enable our people to continue to serve our clients.

As Accenture’s Chief Information Officer, backed by a tremendous team, I wanted to share with you the technology-powered business transformation journey our company is on and how that affects us day-to-day. I believe we are successful because we take a living systems approach—we tackle big change in a bite-sized way while keeping costs and effort low and setting our sights on new “north star” capabilities. This is what has helped us manage the pandemic and what will make us future-ready for other crises that come our way.

Pause for a podcast

Don’t just take my word for it. In the next few months you’ll be able to listen to conversations with our leaders around how we’ve applied what we’ve learned and how that’s helped us. We also talk about some of the things you might need to consider as you advance your own tech-powered transformation journeys.

Here’s what you can expect from our series of short podcasts:

In my conversation with Tony Leraris, managing director of Global IT, Live Technology Services and Support, you’ll hear about the demands on security and scale as we moved Accenture people to remote working. We benefited from the investments we had already made in cloud and platforms-as-a-service and could rapidly pivot to support the necessary changes. Tony explains how we were able to give our people the right tools and technology to do their jobs, securely, while holding on to the same (and even more!) productivity and collaboration that we have enjoyed in the past.

KC McClure, Accenture’s Chief Financial Officer, shares with me how her team collaborated with Global IT to reinvent the Finance function, using digital tech tools to free people up for more strategic tasks. She cites an example of a fundamental task such as closing the books and how foundational technology has helped to speed up the process and improve accuracy. Hear why the Finance team is excited to come to work each day—and how magic happens when we work together as One Accenture.

I’ve also enjoyed talking to Merim Becirovic, who leads Enterprise Architecture for Accenture's Global IT organization about his experience in cloud acceleration and optimization and what this means for Accenture and our Global IT team. He explains how once you get to the cloud, you’re far from done! And he offers insights into how you can accelerate your journey to the cloud, the foundational steps of technology you need to get right, the power of operating in a multi-cloud universe, and what’s next in the cloud for our organization.

I’m excited by the new ways we’re building innovation muscle so that our Global IT team can meet the needs of our own organization—and better serve our clients. These conversations confirm how we apply our deep understanding of the challenges and then get on and deliver the solutions. I hope you’ll find interest in these podcasts and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with you.

Penelope Prett

Chief Information Officer

Subscription Center
Subscribe to CIO Organization's How Accenture Does IT blog Subscribe to CIO Organization's How Accenture Does IT blog