How Accenture drives digital transformation at speed with the Now Platform


Accenture started a digital transformation journey five or six years ago

Accenture is renowned as a global leader in technology consulting and outsourcing, with 500,000 employees serving clients from a range of industries, across 51 countries. The organisation uses the Now Platform to transform how it gets work done and is also a long-standing partner. At Knowledge 20, Accenture was named ServiceNow’s Global Partner of the Year.

Karen Odegaard, Managing Director, Now Platform, at Accenture, and Fiona Anklesaria, Solution Design Lead, Accenture, joined ServiceNow’s Neighbourhood series to explain how the organisation has transformed the way employees get work done.

Odegaard sits within the Accenture global IT organisation and runs digital worker technologies. These are the platforms, technologies and solutions that employees need to be productive, every day for Accenture and its clients. 

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Becoming lean and agile, Accenture is five or six years into a digital transformation journey fuelled by the intent to be more agile and cloud-based, to lean into its operations and to improve experience for employees, partners and clients. 

“When we started this journey, we knew a cloud native platform would be instrumental in helping to achieve our objectives and digital transformation goals, at speed and much faster than we could do ourselves,” Odegaard said. “We’ve definitely seen benefits from the investments we’ve made in ServiceNow.

“We’ve reduced the overheads of operating our critical service; we have more self-service capabilities available to our employees, so they’re getting what they need much faster and in an automated way; and in general, we have people spending less time figuring out how to navigate our organisation.” 

Odegaard added that ServiceNow helped Accenture meet its end-to-end goals around experience and create more end-to-end services, bringing together various corporate functions across the enterprise.

Expanding ServiceNow across Accenture
Anklesaria explained that after moving from a legacy solution to the Now Platform, Accenture has established a common IT foundation for incidents, problems and changes. The team then sought other opportunities to leverage ServiceNow cross-functionally across Accenture.

Leveraging and delivering services across the organisation scaled the impact of ServiceNow for Accenture – not just in IT, but in areas such as finance, human resources and marketing. Accenture Support provided support across the board. “ServiceNow is our customer portal for our users, serving employees in the way they want to work,” Anklesaria said. “This has delivered a major impact in breaking down the silos and disparate solutions we had, creating the experience and journey for our users in one place.” 

ServiceNow supports pandemic response
The world has changed dramatically since Accenture started its transformation journey.  “COVID-19 has been an interesting experience for all of us,” Anklesaria explained. “We leveraged the ServiceNow platform in a lot of ways for emergency response, to enable a lot of new workflows that support a distributed ‘work from home’ model, along with approvals processes.”

“As we return to the office, we’re focused on what processes we can digitise, future-proof,  with ServiceNow, to make work better for people. When COVID started and we transferred to a work from home model, our enterprise asset management team – who also utilises ServiceNow – had deployed over 100,000 different assets to people to enable them to work from home.” 

“Now that we’re preparing for the transition back, they’re actually leveraging ServiceNow to develop a solution to restock all of those assets, via mobile. We’re also exploring different areas as our other locations are going to request and follow new policies in place, how we can leverage the workflow capabilities in ServiceNow to help manage that process.”

These aren’t the only areas where Accenture is looking to expand its use of the Now Platform.  “We are always looking for opportunities to maximise our use and the investment that we have already made,” said Odegaard. “We are continuing to help service the orchestration layer, to help transform experiences in complex areas that we historically wouldn’t have looked to for a platform like this. 

“We are looking at employee travel and transforming that end to end experience; procurement, and the end to end buying experience; and payroll transformation, a complex global process that ServiceNow can simplify across the globe.”

Governance and reskilling
Odegaard also highlighted the importance of governance to the success of enterprise platform projects. “Initially our focus was very tactical, and I think if we had known we would scale so quickly, we would have layered in the right governance from a platform perspective earlier on,” she said.

“As we went through our upgrade cycles there are probably some things we could have done better in the early days. We’ve now course-corrected and we have the right level of governance as we’re doing 20-25 projects every year. That is the only recommendation I would have to clients who are going on this journey from an enterprise perspective, is to think about governance for the platform sooner rather than later.”

Odegaard’s advice: Treat the process as a journey. Accenture re-evaluates its roadmap on a yearly basis so it can continue to innovate.   “ServiceNow has been a catalyst for the business to reskill our workforce,” she said. “I represent internal IT and we had skilled ServiceNow people from the inside-out to partner on the implementation. 

“We have a few highly skilled ServiceNow people as part of our team, and we retrain a lot of our workforce on ServiceNow, again to help us deploy this capability at scale. This is a great opportunity because the skills that you learn from a platform like ServiceNow are translatable to other platforms within your ecosystem.”

To learn more and view the Accenture ServiceNow Neighbourhood session.

 

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