Accenture Exec: 5 Reasons As a Service Adoption Has Accelerated

Accenture’s Fabrice Dersy

Two years ago, 68 percent of service buyer respondents believed core enterprise processes would not be delivered as-a-Service for five or more years, according to executives surveyed by Accenture and HfS Research.

One year later, things changed dramatically: 56 percent of leaders in a 2016 Hfs survey said they planned to make the transition much sooner – within two years.

So what shifted?

In the recent “The Promise of As-a-Service” report, Accenture suggests five drivers for faster as-a-service adoption: the availability of more intelligent services, greater agility, speed-to-value, better analytics and automation, and the ability to achieve specific outcomes.

Competition plays a role, too, the report said. As companies increasingly see competitors moving to as-as-Service (aaS), they start to realize they’re also not happy with the way old functions and processes run.

Fabrice Dersy, senior managing director and aaS lead for Accenture Operations, offered ChannelE2E some additional insight on the report and what’s driving cloud adoption these days:

ChannelE2E: Can you describe what “promise of as-a-service” means?

Dersy: Not long ago, the accepted wisdom was that as-a-Service was not yet mature as a delivery model for business processes and IT.

Organizations are now recognizing that the promise of as-a-Service – and its ability to help them meet their business goals in ways that are both tangible and measurable – is here today and already driving value.

ChannelE2E: Of the five drivers, have some been more influential than others?

Dersy: The drivers are different for each organization depending on where they’re currently at in their journey. Personally, I’m seeing the ability to tap into capabilities in a matter of days or weeks, versus months, as being really attractive to organizations as they’re working to get ahead of shifting markets and fast-moving customer demands.

Another really powerful motivator is the ability for organizations to leverage the aaS model to move beyond just processing transactions and capturing data to applying analytics and generating deep insights that can drive better performance.

Q: What are the most common barriers to aaS success?

Dersy: First, organizations need to review how they buy these new services. Traditional commercial models that are fixed-price or full-time-employee-based don’t work in the as-a-Service world. Instead, value needs to be defined and measured in new ways, tied to specific business outcomes.

Second, using point solutions may cause integration and vendor management challenges. Instead, work with service providers that offer an end-to-end solution across a function or process.

Third, the technologies that underpin the as-a-Service model have matured at different rates. Only in the past few years has there been sufficient take-up of public and hybrid cloud, for example.

Fourth, multiple stakeholders within a company can make approvals more complex, given buying as-a Service is different than purchasing standard services. Stakeholders must agree on a clear set of business-led objectives that can then be enabled by IT.

ChannelE2E: What is the biggest mistake companies make in transitioning to an as-a-Service model?

Dersy: Companies often don’t understand their options, or their journeys to as-a-Service get stalled. I think it’s important for companies to start with a single function migrated to the cloud and then expand as-a-Service to other functions.

It’s also important to treat the lifecycle of a program or function as an impetus, using it as a decision point to examine the potential benefits of moving to as-a-Service.

ChannelE2E: What’s the most practical piece of advice you can offer for beginning the transition to as-a-Service and/or speeding up momentum? 

Dersy: There are many ways to embark on an as-a-Service journey, but what’s most important is getting started. One thing’s certain: If you sit on the sidelines indefinitely contemplating when to make the move, you’ll lose ground to increasingly agile and efficient competitors.

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