CloudResearch & Whitepapers

Why Your Business Needs Agile Practices to Grow Rapidly

A new Accenture study finds that companies that have adopted new agile practices are more efficient and profitable than their peers.


Covid-19 has impacted business in so many ways and turned many industries upside down. But what transpired out of this period of unprecedented change is CXOs’ expectations of what their business model can achieve in the context of technology, strategy, growth, and the future of work. In this context, companies that have adopted new agile practices have grown rapidly. They have achieved not just nearly twice the efficiency, but also three times more profitability from their peers, finds a new report.

A new study conducted by Accenture on 1,100 senior-level executives, throws light on how the pandemic-driven acceleration of digital adoption could unlock $5.4 trillion in profitable growth if applied broadly.

The higher the maturity, the greater the degree of digital capabilities, such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, and data analytics.

Accenture’s findings indicate that even amid the current economic uncertainty, a small core of companies —about 7%—have achieved nearly twice the efficiency and three times the profitability of peers. These future-ready companies have doubled-down on digital transformation and retooled operating models, pivoting from incremental improvements to wholesale reinvention.

“Uncertainty has also put a premium on new, agile ways of doing things, reinforcing the idea that operations can be a catalyst for competitive advantage, transformational value and growth,” said Manish Sharma, group chief executive of Accenture Operations. “But this only works if companies think big— transforming how the work actually gets done across technology, processes and people.

The report also highlights that future-ready enterprises transform how work gets done by using rich data for decision-making, augmenting people with artificial intelligence (AI) and employing agile workforce models — with striking differences in digital adoption and operational maturity. The areas they focus on include:

  • Cloud: Most future-ready organisations use cloud infrastructure at scale, and 78% are also exploring new areas to scale and maximize value.
  • Machine Intelligence: The report claims that several companies are focusing on augmenting people with technology. Nearly 71% of future-ready organisations have fully adopted AI and data science capabilities. Future-ready organisations are expected to increase AI practices by 2023.
  • Automate at Scale: Nearly two-thirds of future-ready organisations have adopted end-to-end digital processes, whereas four-fifths are expected to rise leading practices by 2023.
  • Smarter Data: Future-ready organisations are more likely than other organisations to use analytics at scale to generate actionable insights and inform decision-making. More companies are expected to use analytics with diverse data by 2023.
  • Agile Workforce: Nearly one-third of future-ready organizations have adopted an agile workforce strategy which enabled them to open up an expanded talent pool among ecosystem partners to mobilize exceptional talent as needed. It is expected to increase by 2023.

Despite the progress, about 75% of organizations, still need to retool processes that bring technology and people together to humanize the way they interact. They even commit to data-driven decisions. Even in a data-powered world, many, which is around 36% of leaders, still rely heavily on their own intuition and experience. With only 1% of data currently being analyzed, it’s also a significant area of untapped potential.

The research found that CXOs should invest in data to drive the right insights, align investments to the right places to guide large-scale change, build multidisciplinary teams that bring the right capabilities. As Sharma said, “Future-ready organizations know that it’s about maximizing talent in an era when people are critical to success. They’re harnessing change by retooling operating models in ways that capitalize on human ingenuity and machine intelligence to transform the way people work and the business performs.”


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