Good decision making is a natural part of any successful business. And we all know that having the best facts at our fingertips is essential in getting those decisions right. But there is sometimes a bit of doubt. What about when we don’t know what we don’t know? It’s an age-old challenge we can tackle with applied intelligence—and one of the reasons why Accenture is automating our employee experience to be more intelligent.

coworkers collaborating

I was talking about this topic recently with the managing director for Accenture’s Applied Intelligence Services, Lee Barrett, and my global IT colleague responsible for digital experiences, Jason Warnke. Jason and I shared how we are using applied intelligence-powered automation in our business. It helps us to identify patterns, make decisions on those patterns, automate those decisions and then—perhaps the most important part of all—optimize outcomes. Along the way, our tools can give our people better experiences in the field—and that’s always good for business. 

Progress over perfection

I don’t believe there’s a one-size fits all solution to tech issues, even in an organization as large as ours. But it is important to make the best use of what you have—for me progress wins over perfection any day. So, if you already have the tech needed in-house to improve the experiences of your people, I recommend using it.

Here’s some of the things we’ve learned about automating applied intelligence that you could put into practice right now:

  • Make trust non-negotiable: These days there’s so many different ways you can get what you need, it’s essential to have trust and transparency from the outset to get people on board and confident they will get the right outcome to suit them. Because our work is powered by data, we need to make sure that the data is without bias and is ethical. For example, we use Microsoft Teams to communicate and work in new ways. One of the things we’re working on right now is having our people reference real-time data and analytics in a Teams meeting, so that the information is transparent to all and they can collaborate even more effectively.
  • Sprint first and fail fast: The key to successfully integrating artificial intelligence into the business is to work closely with the business and process owners to make sure that any initiative you introduce is going to offer real value. That means being willing to move on quickly if an idea, no matter how initially attractive, is not going to deliver. Build to operate and automate at speed. Don’t fall in love with your ideas at the expense of the outcome—be prepared to fail fast and move on.
  • Introduce the right ownership and governance: As Lee comments in the podcast, governance is not a “one and done” activity. Always question who has access and what that access should look like. Have conversations regularly across the organization and remember who is being served by the solution. Governance may get harder before it gets easier, but it’s vital to figure it out if you want to unleash new insights.

Chunks of change

Change has been a huge part of Accenture’s own digital workforce journey. Analytics has helped our organization to make changes in bite-sized chunks, which has meant we can bring that mindset and process to a lot of different areas.

We’ve used a whole range of different tactics to introduce new ways of doing things—and our change and adoption team makes sure that the success that we defined upfront continues to happen. The team reminds people what the goal is, how their jobs will be made easier and how we can, ultimately, improve the experience for them and their clients ongoing.

Find out more about how automating artificial intelligence can give employees the trusted data and insights they need, when and where they need them by listening to our podcast on the topic or read our case study.

Mark Martynus

Managing Director – Global IT, Delivery Services

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