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Six steps to achieve an As-a-Service transformation

Michael Corcoran, senior managing director of Growth and Strategy, Accenture Operations | June 13, 2016
How the As-a-Service delivery model can increase business value and provide competitive advantage

Similarly, Rio Tinto, the diversified global mining company, is moving to a new information systems and technology delivery model that migrates core enterprise information systems and technology to a cloud-based, As-a-Service solution. The model also incorporates pay-for-use pricing so costs are flexible and services are scalable based on business demand. The program will include the modernization of the company’s existing enterprise resource planning and information management platforms, consolidating and hosting these applications in the cloud. Rio Tinto expects to realize substantial cost savings through the increased business agility and cost flexibility inherent in cloud services, and from continued lower infrastructure prices – another cloud feature. 

Six steps to achieve an As-a-Service transformation

So how are companies like Deutsche and Rio Tinto moving briskly to the As-a-Service economy? Here are several factors to keep in mind: 

1.    Be prepared to encounter resistance and manage change.  The data from our research shows a considerable disconnect between leadership (53% view as critical) vs. middle managers and delivery staff (29%). It is important to make sure the whole business is aware of the overall strategy – people need to be confident and understand the reasons for the change and the new possibilities being created. The role of change management in embracing an As-a-Service model should not be underestimated.

2.    Learn to buy in new ways.  Executive leadership will need to be educated about how to buy As-a-Service in a piece-by-piece manner. The financial value proposition of As-a-Service is compelling, especially when it comes to technology upgrades or changes.

3.    Focus on leadership and talent.  Only one-in-four buyers is actively addressing their talent shortfall.  To be successful with As-a-Service requires broad and deep expertise across functions, industries and technologies, and at tremendous scale. The role of the right As-a-Service provider will become critical in addressing the talent and capabilities challenge.

4.    Blend analytics and automation strategies to deliver intelligent automation.  By moving to real-time, automated process enacted on a secure, scalable, cloud-based platform, companies can obtain much richer and better-quality data. Companies can then deploy sophisticated, cognitive analytics tools to delivery higher-quality insights.

5.    Start small, pilot, pivot, then scale.  Consider beginning with a function that is less business critical and then use that success to build commitment with both senior leadership and middle management. Also consider a pilot in one geographic area, and then be prepared to build on successes to scale As-a-Service capabilities globally and throughout other functions. The beauty of an As-a-Service model is that it allows you to start small and scale fast in a way that other models don’t.

6.    Build a relationship that drives innovation.  A provider gains in-depth knowledge over time about the buyer’s business, and should bring that knowledge and its industry expertise to bear every day to drive innovation. The best providers are not just transaction engines, but consultants-always looking for ways to advise, identify and drive additional value, reengineer and even unravel processes, not just incrementally improve them.


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