High performers have moved beyond internally focused objectives like cost and productivity. The new bulls-eye is the customer experience. High performers’ top three business priorities linked IT investment strategies to their customers.CIOs are seeking better ways to interact with their customer. High performers’ concerned about providing the right information to the right person at the right time whether they are external customers, partners, or employees.High performers’ are keen to deliver new services and products to customers who can be treated as individuals again by using new digital channels and technologies.In lower performing organizations customer issues had a much lower priority. High performers’ top three business priorities linked IT investment strategies to their customer.A digital approach to customer interaction is also helping IT departments to optimize business processes and cut costs. Our research found a gap between the high performers and others: nearly one third of high performers’ customer interactions are self-service, with seamless interfaces across channels (mobile, social media, Web, etc).
High performers’ always view their business in a wide range of business scenarios. They are five times more likely than other organizations to explore business scenarios within the overall economic, geopolitical and social context. That means they actively listen to and understand their fellow executives’ issues from a business viewpoint; they don’t see the world solely through IT glasses. They also make it their business to seek out wider perspectives, and will expect the same of their direct reports.High performers track the impact of their investments on business metrics more often than other organizations do. And all high performers expect moderate to significant improvement in those metrics next year—especially in customer and employee satisfaction.
For high performers, IT and business functions are generally aligned, so their investments create differentiated business-driven opportunities.Many CIOs are still troubleshooting and fixing problems instead of finding and acting on ways to create value. High performers seek out and invest in new ways that IT can deliver on business strategy and create new opportunities.High Performers are Tackling new projects. They allocate 7% more of their IT budgets to new projects than other organizations do.While their day-to-day IT operating expenses are expected to stay flat this year, 54 percent of high performers will spend significantly more on new projects. And over half of those IT investments (55 percent, compared to just 37 percent at average organizations) are designed to deliver strategic capabilities within the business. Adopting early. High performers’ are not waiting for technologies to mature before they act.
High performers recognize that a hybrid cloud approach will continue to be important as many organizations expect that a large part of their IT will be in traditional apps until at least 2020. High performers will continue to disentangle the legacy “hairball’ and streamline their application portfolios allowing them to quickly respond to volatile global markets. One third of high performers have replaced legacy architectures with private and public cloud components Almost half of high performers are seeing measurable improvements in IT agility and 43 percent are experiencing better alignment of their project portfolios with their IT and business goals (compared with 20 percent of other organizations). High performers are not taking their eyes off the cost implications: 33 percent say their architecture transformations lead to cost reductions (versus 14 percent for others).
Every business is now more dependent than ever on digital technology and high performers have embraced social media, mobile, analytics, and cloud as well as foundational technologies such as virtualization, security and data management. Digital tools and systems are pivotal to how:things are designedcommercial transactions are created and managedinformation is accessedrelationships are formed and how collaboration happens.High performers let their employees bring their own mobile phones and tablets to the workplace. Nearly 70% of high performers (versus 42 percent of others) are committed to mobile transactions, allowing their customers to order their favourite pair of shoes, book travel, pay for their coffee, even transfer cash between bank accounts on the go.54 percent have also deployed a mobile enterprise apps store (versus only 22 percent of other organizations), providing enterprise-grade functionality to their mobile users.High performers are also wading into social collaboration, with the twin goals of capturing knowledge and boosting productivity.
Our research shows that digital employees are empowered to handle most of their own day-to-day IT needs, whether it’s as simple as a password reset or as sophisticated as using the Web-based tools needed to crowd-source new product concepts. In fact this self-service concept extends to high performers’ customers and suppliers. Accenture’s research shows that almost a third of customer and supplier interactions are self-service or seamless across channels.With online and mobile customer interactions costing a fraction of what’s needed to serve customers in person or over the phone, the potential benefits of deploying these technologies is significant. The pressure for more self-service is growing: a new generation of digital buyers is expecting not only real-time, round-the-clock experiences but also personalized services.
In a time when organizations are flooded with new data, the problem becomes the absence of the right data that provides the insights to create competitive advantage.High performers are far closer to the ideal of “the right data.” They have been investing in master data management, predictive analytics and data quality assurance for years. Twice as many high performers compared to other organizations are achieving or exceeding the business value they expected from their analytics capability.While most are leveraging a mix of internal and external data in their analytics capabilities they still face significant data integration challenges. The challenge will be to figure out not only how to collect data, but how to create it. While the current generation of software was designed for functionality, the next generation must be designed for analytics as well.
High performers are developing agile systems and operations that enable their organizations to adapt far more quickly. Agile methods means that organizations can respond to changes without shutting down systems to add functionality as required.In addition to building an agile architecture, high performers are downsizing and modernizing their applications portfolios to respond to increased market uncertainty and to handle more interactions with partner organizations and changes to business models. Compared to other respondents, high performers have reduced the number of applications in their portfolios—while modernizing those portfolios. For example, 58% of high performers have one global or regional instance of their distribution or supply chain application versus 25% of other organizations.
Accenture’s research finds that the high performers identify, early on, the internal and external skills they need. They can quickly spot where they have gaps in capabilities and skills. They know they need skills in new technologies, with 85% telling us it is one the top areas for future success.One third of high performers have already addressed this gap (versus only 3% of other organizations) and another 44% are busy recruiting and training for those skills today (versus 30% of other organizations). Business knowledge and soft skills are also important for most high performers. CIOs recognize how critical it is for IT leaders to communicate effectively with their business colleagues. CIOs think in terms of a talent network outside their organization across partners, outsourcing firms, and consultants. One in five high performers has a comprehensive sourcing strategy, aligning key partners with their business priorities.
There is a general understanding among CIOs that endpoint and perimeter security is not enough, but the move to active defense—staying one step ahead of the attackers—isn’t yet happening on a broad scale. Although respondents from most organizations believe they currently have the right level of investment in compliance and overall security, 44 percent think they are underinvesting in cyber-security. IT’s core challenge is to get current with best practices in security while getting smarter about the new active-defense possibilities. High performers put more emphasis on anticipating cyber threats and on clarifying the security governance model than other IT organizations. High performers are also twice as likely to give high priority to defining an overall security strategy, improving their approach to business continuity, defining a risk-based approach to security, and their security controls associated with mobility.