As customer zero, Accenture employs an innovation-led approach to ease concerns of clients investing to scale DT

TBR perspective

As emerging technologies become a pervasive part of both IT and line-of-business leaders’ daily agendas, Accenture’s value proposition, amplified through the Accenture Innovation Architecture, positions the company to successfully address the complexity of clients’ IT systems, including through educating employees and optimizing, automating and managing the systems. Accenture’s outlook as well as the company’s investments in solutions that navigate post-digital era operations are backed by 30 years of experience supporting IT systems and working to alleviate clients’ concerns around disruption and transformation. Being customer zero, in many cases, helps Accenture showcase successful use cases of innovation-led transformation at scale where people, processes and technology can drive toward industrialized operations. Accenture recognizes that clients’ business priorities vary, but by deploying common frameworks such as cloud-first approaches, design thinking workshops and automation maturity assessments, among others, the company can continue to trade on trust with its clients, thus easing the introduction of capabilities and use cases in new areas such as blockchain and quantum computing.

With innovation, however, comes challenges. Accenture vigorously addresses hurdles such as data quality, staff skills and systems adaptation and encourages clients to do a hard reset of their IT department to close the innovation achievement gap. In the long-term battle for dominance in the IT services space, currently driven by AI, Accenture certainly walks the walk. But to maintain its leading position, the company would be better served to adopt outcome-based pricing models at scale to widen the gap with competitors. According to respondents in TBR’s 4Q18 Digital Transformation Customer Research who reported the existence of an outcome-based pricing structure with their digital transformation (DT) services vendor, the vast majority of contracts used traditional KPIs such as cost savings, technical performance or uptime as the measure of whether agreed-upon outcomes were delivered. This suggests this pricing structure remains immature, as basing even a portion of a vendor’s fees on the client’s business performance is risky for both parties. We expect DT pricing methods to mature as more data becomes available around whether and how solutions impact business outcomes.

The Accenture Technology Symposium brought together over 200 Accenture (NYSE: ACN) clients with Accenture and industry leaders and practitioners. While disrupting technologies in areas including cloud, blockchain, AI, automation and security were discussed and demoed, Accenture used the event to promote its innovation-led, industry-centric approach to solving business problems.  

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