Monday, March 3, 2014

Accenture Preparation

Accenture is facing the problem of building a new IT infrastructure to support a global organization that consults on leading-edge technology.

Problem: With rights to Andersen's technology for only one year, Accenture is under a strict time constraint to create an IT infrastructure of its own. There are many problems with the current system. Knowledge must be able to flow freely across country lines and industry practices, and timely accurate financial information required to meet the more stringent demands made on a publicly traded company. The current system is a patch work of legacy applications that do not interconnect readily with each other and due to the obsolete software platforms on which we run, key systems and databases could not be accessed remotely through the internet. Large expensive private networks are required for this task, and financial information often has to be manually compiled to aggregate results from different offices. Also, we have adopted our own individual accounting and human resource software systems, making it very complex to get an up-to-date snapshot of the whole organization's status at any one time. In addition, consultants need to remain connected while being highly mobile.

Needs: IT products and services conceived and driven by the needs of internal customers and stakeholders, rather than by the interpretation of what IT engineers estimate internal users would need in the future. We will also need clear and verifiable services levels for each of the IT products and services offered. the optimal service levels would be determined by what users required. These would also be competitive with those offered by specialized companies in the field and would be constantly bench marked for improvements as learning curves and better technologies enabled efficiencies. Lastly, different levels of service would be offered for a particular technology. A price would price would have to be established for each level of service, with customers choosing what served them best and often paying for support on a transactional basis. 

Alternatives: The alternative course of action for Accenture would be using Microsoft software for end-user desktop tools, messaging, collaboration, and knowledge management assets worldwide. The company also runs its operational systems with SAP on Microsoft technologies.  Microsoft software can evolve adaptive work spaces, increases integration with collaboration practices, and offers quality management of information. Another advantage of using Microsoft software is a single user interface and single data usability along with information coherence.
Another course of action for Accenture could be decentralize its company and empowers its employees. An engaged workforce can lead to increased production, innovation and good word of mouth advertising for the company as an employer. The company can chose to extend ethical human resource management practices by ensuring that they only work with suppliers who value the same human resource ideals.

Recommendation: The logical recommendation that I would offer is that Accenture continue using Microsoft software first because there is a connection between different applications and second because it saves Accenture money compared to the option of buying the newest applications for every and each new customer. The adoption of Microsoft technologies has helped Accenture achieve its goals for IT operations, realize quantifiable benefits and, ultimately, better serve client needs while gets in return profitable ROIs. The new strategy that the company has taken upon is to set up particular ROI and ensures through follow up during the actual work process that number is met.  The organization decided to engage in IT infrastructure outsourcing, use offshore centers for application development and customer service and implement business process outsourcing for critical but routine tasks such as customer billing and invoicing - which has proven to be very successful in controlling finances and bringing more investments for the company and explains the great success of Accenture.

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