At Accenture, we’re a real-life example of using automation to transform the way we work. Our global IT organization has reached a point in Accenture’s journey to intelligently automate our internal IT operations. We now see automation as both a complement to our workforce and a way to progress toward innovation, rather than as a financial or technology play.

We reached this point by pivoting our automation ideology to how it can and will impact our global IT organization’s ability to be transformational, innovative, and scalable. We view automation not as programmatic tech, but as a step toward reimagining work through human + machine.

Person standing in Vortex

Human + machine

As humans and smart machines continue to collaborate, business processes become more fluid and adaptive. This evolution enables companies to change business strategies on the fly—or even to completely reimagine them. For our global IT organization, we’ve positioned smart machines to be counterparts to our workforce, strengthening Accenture’s businesses and advancing our people to do more “thinking” instead of “doing.”

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Automation and human + machine concepts are fundamental to business strategy and the ability to unlock innovation in every worker. This is how organizations can apply technology to transform how they work.

 

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A view into the value of a combined workforce

Two important steps in incorporating smart machines with humans are: 1) to consider this technology as part of the workforce and, 2) to equip the organization with the ability to measure and report on its productivity and effectiveness. Many organizations have implemented automation in various areas of their businesses, but often with limited visibility into the value of those investments—until now.

Our global IT organization is introducing a human + machine performance framework for Accenture through dashboards that enhance the ability to track and manage the productivity and value of the “combined human and machine,” or total workforce. Dashboards provide an “apples to apples” view of human and machine workers, so that our global IT organization can capture the complete picture of what makes up our IT workforce.

The framework focuses on the ability of our businesses to standardize and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) needed to understand total workforce performance. By doing this, the business can make informed decisions on how and where to scale automation in order to shift humans toward work of more strategic value and innovative thinking.

Automation leads to augmentation

The value gained from this shift is expected to be exponential because automation leads to augmentation: it’s about the added scale and value that machines add to a human workforce. For Accenture, an automation and human + machine approach allows us to redefine what our people do and shift them from task orientation to higher-value work. Additionally, quantifying automation supports our understanding of how to track and manage machine productivity. Accenture also gains value from standardizing automation, instrumentation, and business processes to compare units of value.

A combined automation and human + machine approach allows Accenture to lead with analytics and take full advantage of the business insights we can derive from the data. As our global IT organization continues our automation journey, human + machine performance monitoring will be a key stepping-stone to achieving the next juncture: intelligent analytics. Intelligent analytics draws on the data the framework generates to provide insights on how to make smarter decisions in using both workforces optimally.

Stay tuned for more on this topic as we progress on our journey.

Yakuta Rasheed

Senior Manager – Global IT, Enterprise Architecture

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