Future belongs to ‘intelligent enterprise’, say consultancies

business meeting pie charts

Whether your business is a success or failure will depend on whether or not it is an “intelligent operation”, according to a new report by  HfS Research and Accenture. 

The companies did a survey of 460 senior executives around the world and found that organisations which “harness the combination of innovative talent, diverse data, and applied intelligence” are often the most successful. 

Such organisations can be called “intelligent operations”, according to HfS and Accenture. 

What HfS and Accenture mean by “intelligent operation” is a company or organisation which has “360-degree view of their operations enabling quicker, insight-led decision making”. 

While it may be a statement of the obvious – that companies need to operate intelligently in order to succeed – Accenture and HfS are in the business of providing structured decision-making systems which, essentially, distill intelligence in practice.

The consultants say that the five essential components of “intelligent operations” are:

Innovative talent: The talent of the future will need to bring creative problem-solving in addition to digital expertise. Organisations will need a more agile human resources function and a recruiting approach that heavily leverages an open talent marketplace.

Data-driven backbone: Organisations need to capitalise on the explosion of structured and unstructured data from multiple sources to gain new insights for the innovative talent to use in order to achieve stronger outcomes.

Applied intelligence: Using integrated automation, analytics, and AI-based solutions, organizations need innovative talent who can understand the business problem and then apply the right combination of tools to find the answer.

Leveraging the power of the cloud: The cloud will enable the plug-and-play digital services with better integration of diverse data, can scale up and down, and help organizations move toward an as-a-service environment.

Smart partnership ecosystem: Organisations of the future will develop symbiotic relationships with start-ups, academia, technology providers and platform players to achieve their goals.

Debbie Polishook, group chief executive at Accenture Operations, said: “To win in today’s market and ensure future viability, it is essential that organizations capture value quickly, change direction at pace, shape and deliver new products and services.

“Organisations also need to maximize the use of ‘always on’ intelligence to sense, predict and act on changing customer and market developments.

“Our research suggests technology alone is not the magic bullet,” continued Polishook. “To successfully transform their operations, organizations must take a holistic approach that integrates business process and industry expertise, human ingenuity, and intelligent technologies.

“This enables the agility, flexibility, and responsiveness needed to drive superior decision-making, business outcomes and customer experiences. It’s about responding swiftly to change and how to steer a new course with confidence.”

When it comes to digital disruption, 42 percent of executives reported that they see more opportunities than threats now compared with two years ago.

A robust customer experience strategy was identified as the most significant driver of operational agility.

Phil Fersht, CEO and chief analyst at HfS Research, said: “Breaking down the silos between the front and back office is now essential to delivering a modern customer experience. More than half of survey respondents stated that it takes months or even years for their business functions to make changes to evolving business needs.

“The market leaders of the future will be businesses that operate on a OneOffice model: an intelligent, single office characterized by seamless processes and digital capabilities centered on creating, enabling and supporting the customer experience.”