How Analytics Helped Accenture’s Pandemic Plans

Accenture’s investments in cloud, platforms, and analytics and AI proved important in the company’s rapid moves to remain on major of pandemic-driven alter.

There are lots of stories now about how corporations, major and modest, speedily produced the conclusion to pivot their business office personnel to a get the job done-from-house standing. These corporations may perhaps have already experienced several folks doing the job from house on a frequent basis, or not all. They may perhaps be major or modest. But a person issue they experienced in prevalent was they all produced a quickly conclusion to go most personnel house really speedily in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic — possible faster than they have at any time produced any organization-large conclusion of importance at any time.

Accenture was a person of them. ┬áThe corporation produced that rapid go to get the job done-from-house for its workforce of close to 500,000. When that would seem like a substantial selection and enterprise, to the company’s new CIO Penelope Prett, appointed to the function as of December one, 2019, this go to get the job done from house was just the 1st brief act in what is a extended total effort to alter how the international consulting firm operates proficiently in reaction to the variations introduced by a pandemic.

Image: Corona Borealis -

Picture: Corona Borealis –

“I consider we were really fortunate simply because my corporation has been dealing on a international footing for a long time,” Prett claimed. This just isn’t the 1st time the corporation has dealt with an exterior catastrophic occasion. But ordinarily these matters are restricted to just a person or two international locations at a time. The pandemic intended that Accenture desired to scale its reaction to fit the international scale of COVID-19.

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“So the exercising itself was just a concern of scale,” Prett claimed. Of system like so several many others, Accenture referred to as on its source chain companions for aid securing laptops and desktops and other get the job done-from-house necessities. But total the corporation was ready. “We experienced a ton of parts in location, but pulling them jointly on a international footing — that was what was truly distinctive this time.”

Penelope Prett

Penelope Prett

That intended sending these belongings to all those people personnel in 47 distinctive international locations, alongside with the technologies desired for the suitable safety and the suitable connectivity.

“The logistics of it were a bit gorgeous,” Prett claimed. “But if you put that aside and target on it unemotionally, just target on the exercising of carrying out it, we were three-quarters of the way there and the final fourth we could target all our time on and get that suitable. I consider which is what produced it an much easier transition for us.”

Next, Accenture looked to its client contracts. In cases of regional catastrophes, Prett claimed the corporation operates by the folks in that geography who know the spot well, who know the customers and who know the contracts. But scaling that to a international stage is a ton distinctive. Which is where Accenture turned to its analytics capabilities.

For example, Prett claimed, the corporation really speedily desired to go by its whole base of active contracts with customers to recognize how teams at the regional degree experienced envisioned small business resiliency and continuity setting up in the occasion of an emergency like this a person.

“If you experienced to do that human by human in all those people languages, document by document, you can just envision how long that would take,” Prett claimed. “But we were capable to launch a capacity that we’ve been building for a even though referred to as ALICE. ALICE is a natural language processing software that aids us to read those people contracts working with Google Translator in their indigenous language to recognize what they claimed in the occasion of something like this.”

ALICE is an acronym for Accenture Lawful Smart Agreement Exploration. By wanting at all the contracts all around the entire world, Accenture could recognize designs of conduct and commonality. That enabled the corporation to generate an action plan for how to deal with matters, in accordance to Prett.

“It was a time of great alter and a tiny bit of chaos for the total entire world,” she claimed. “The point that we could pull our facts up in a way to give us really obvious perception into steps that desired to be taken and the get they desired to be taken in, well, I consider that gave us a sizeable competitive gain.”

ALICE started as a challenge at a regional degree and was originally made so that the company’s authorized workforce of more than three,000 specialists from all around the entire world could look at contracts from international locations where English is not the main language. Accenture already experienced the capacity in location and was working with it for something else. The pandemic intended the challenge could be employed for a further purpose.

“The basis was already there,” Prett claimed. “Which is the difference in companies that really speedily responded to COVID and got again to their ordinary small business of serving their clients and companies that did not. To be competitive and convert all around a COVID scenario, you experienced to have a powerful cloud posture, you truly desired to have the best platforms in the entire world for your technological innovation, and you truly need to have AI and facts analytics equipment that allow you to consider about your facts otherwise and use it in contexts you’ve in no way imagined about prior to.”

The pandemic harm companies that were sluggish to go in these directions, in accordance to Prett. Probably they did not want to get rid of tailor made-designed technological innovation that produced up so much of the company’s investments more than the many years.

“But they observed that possessing those people matters is a lot more of a legal responsibility than a profit,” claimed Prett. “Which is simply because they are restricted and they can’t flexibly reply as they hearing from our governments every thirty day period about the transforming conditions below which we could run.”

A different initiative driven by the pandemic and run by Accenture’s analytics platform was made by Accenture’s Chief HR Officer, alongside with her counterparts in other companies including Lincoln Monetary Group, ServiceNow, and Verizon. The program, Individuals + Work Hook up, introduced in April, and brings jointly companies laying off or furloughing personnel with those people companies who need to employ the service of personnel quickly. It currently is doing the job with one,four hundred corporations and 418,000 roles across 87 distinctive international locations, in accordance to Accenture.

A different crucial spot that Prett states is generally neglected is collaboration. Accenture is working with Microsoft equipment these as Teams and Business 365 as its collaboration hub, but Prett believes there is continue to a ton of likely but to be unlocked in terms of how companies are working with these equipment.

For occasion, in a collaboration hub “that is abundant and effective you can convey all the facts that is desired to the client at the position of need,” Prett claimed. “I can contextually read you and what you are carrying out and convey that information to you at your position of need in a basically distinctive way.” That could suggest pulling up the precise related information in the instant to aid in collaboration as you design small business processes, for example.

“We dwell in a really appealing age where equipment themselves are much a lot more innovative about gathering facts,” Prett claimed. “The electronic exhaust begins to give us great insights.”

Jessica Davis has invested a career masking the intersection of small business and technological innovation at titles including IDG’s Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise’s eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology’s MSPmentor. She’s passionate about the functional use of small business intelligence, … Watch Whole Bio

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