Point of View

The pandemic molded enterprises to embark on a digital transformation journey

August 25, 2021

Digital transformation continued to be a hot topic at the HFS OneOffice™ Digital Symposium. When asked by HFS CEO Phil Fersht, Manish Sharma (GCE Ops Accenture) highlighted the following:

The pandemic put digital achievements in the spotlight that helped identify the digital gaps. Enterprises that invested (7% of a small core of companies) in their digital transformation achieved nearly 3X profitability and 2X increased efficiency over those who didn’t in 2020, according to an Accenture report Manish cited. These digitally equipped enterprises responded lightning-fast and delivered solutions in a new agile way of operating model with no disruption.

Further, Manish added that the pandemic created a sense of urgency and limited time to react to needs, which we had never seen before. These transformations have been compressed into months rather than years. Manish named it “super-compressed transformation.” Very few enterprises achieved their transformation goals, and the remaining are in the process.

Exhibit 1: Digi-side Chat—HFS Symposium June 2021

Source: HFS Research, 2021

What worked during the last year to achieve the compressed transformation?

There is no way to go around digital transformation. Persistent focus supported with data and outcome-driven business value at speed were the solutions that worked well during that period. Enterprises leveraged service providers and their platforms and tools to shift their workloads. In that process, service providers further customized their platforms and solutions to meet market demand. Manish highlighted Accenture’s SynOPs, a cloud-based solution that can help manage complex platform operations, workforce, workflow, and demand. This helped create an evolved, intelligent operating model and deliver true business outcomes across technology, people, and processes.

During the pandemic period, Accenture leveraged its SynOps platform to deliver resilient, agile, and flexible tools to drive its business and retain the continuity of its clients. In one such example, Accenture helped a global life science company predict the company’s product line demand by simulating the impact of the pandemic. Accenture used the SynOps platform, the AI-enabled forecasting and advanced data analytics on inventory lining position, Accenture delivered the ability to gauge year-end revenue. The company used the solution to manage the quarterly production to meet the year-end demand and alpha. Similarly, the firm has many business cases where it leveraged the innovative platform.

On a macro level, he added that enterprises are prioritized to move their massive IT workloads and business processes to the cloud. Moreover, enterprises embarked on all the necessary digital technology with an open mind and collaborated with partners to support clients. Manish’s take resonated with our recent pulse survey data. (The transformation focus remained as a C-suite priorities for the next 12 months; see Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2: How would you rate your organization’s cloud strategy?

Sample: Surveying 801 of the Global 2000 enterprises
Source: HFS Research, 2021 Pulse survey

Accenture touched upon HFS OneOffice™ vision while handling the implementation challenges

When Phil asked Manish to describe some of the biggest challenges, he encountered implementing the platform and solutions like SynOps, Manish mentioned a couple of key concerns and shared how Accenture overcame them. Accenture had to incorporate several siloed functions across client organizations and properly manage change while executing the solutions. Accenture eliminated siloed functions by integrating them. To solve the change management challenges, Accenture suggested the importance of strong communications for employees and businesses. Accenture handled these concerns from a long-term perspective and provided solutions beyond functions and processes across the enterprise to solve the challenges. This is pretty much what the OneOffice mindset is all about (see Exhibit 3). The ability to design processes for the long-term, underpinned by data and process integration, is critical. The more you explain the benefits of a broader perspective to your delivery team and the clients, the more success you will have in achieving significant business value.

Exhibit 3: OneOffice emerging technology platform

Source: HFS Research, 2021, Examples are representative

Lastly, Phil asked Manish about Indian delivery location resiliency during the pandemic. Both agreed that the Indian delivery location demonstrated true resilience during the pandemic. It successfully adapted to changes and delivered meaningful and innovative solutions to the clients consistently in the past 14 months, and it will continue to deliver and evolve.

The Bottom Line: Virtual innovation is here to stay.

Manish predicted, “Virtual innovation is here to stay.” We did not know two years ago it would be possible to deliver an innovative solution in a virtual environment. But we delivered successfully and continued to deliver innovative solutions in the virtual environment for the past 14+ months. Leaders like Accenture and other providers proved their transition ability with the adaptive service model.

Furthermore, Manish talked about “experience.” It is even more critical when we talk about delivering solutions to clients, employees, or partners. Manish believes that delivering solutions with significant experience (including people, businesses, or different function experiences) has its own merits to drive an impactful conversion. Based on his client interactions, Manish called out that there is a growing appetite for a future-ready operation in the next 12 months. Accenture is well equipped to deliver successful business outcomes with its consistent successful delivery history.

Watch this Digi-side Chat

You can read other POVs and a comprehensive ebook about the Symposium, plus watch video highlights of the two-day event, here.

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