‘Clients refocusing investment priorities based on short-term needs’ – Livemint

BENGALURU: Global technology major Accenture believes only those organizations that re-architect themselves to become digital natives will emerge winners in a post-pandemic world. With 200,000 employees, India is part of Accenture’s growth markets that together contributed $2.2 billion to the company’s Q3 FY20 revenues of $11 billion. In an interview, Piyush Singh, senior managing director and India Market Unit lead for Accenture, shares the impact of the covid-19 crisis and trends in the India market. Edited excerpts:

How has the pandemic changed the technology landscape for your Indian customers?

While the level of technology investments may vary, almost all our clients continue to embrace digital technologies, with many refocusing their investment priorities depending on short-term needs. We also see market leaders accelerating large-scale, digital reinvention programs, with faster adoption of technologies such as cloud and collaboration tools, which are key to business recovery.

What are clients looking for from Accenture?

Our clients are looking at ways to increase their overall digital readiness, improve the speed of their decision making, facilitate more digital interactions with their customers, build pure digital sales channels and re-engineer their business processes to build more elastic cost structures and eliminate inefficiencies. We are helping our clients accelerate their adoption of cloud and strengthen their capabilities in data and artificial intelligence (AI). We are working with them to build technology infrastructure that is layered, digitally native and decoupled so they can benefit from plug and play options. We are also aiding greater adoption of collaboration tools which are especially important given how indispensable remote working and flexible IT models have become. Our clients are also turning to us for cyber security services to help protect their organization and keep their data secure even as they go digital and enable more of their people to work remotely.

What are some of your priority areas?

Some of our priority areas include transformation of banking business models and tech architecture for a digital native world, rebuilding supply chain models for the post pandemic world, relooking at organization value chains to take out waste, transformation of power distribution and energy companies, and supporting media companies address digital native audiences.

Given that 70% of Accenture’s global business comes from digital, cloud and security, what’s the trend in India?

India is a mobile-first economy, and Indians are among the most prolific consumers of digital experiences, which have traditionally fuelled the adoption of cloud technologies across Indian businesses. As we weather the pandemic and digital consumption accelerates – only those organizations that re-architect their technology and business fundamentals, to become digital natives will emerge as winners. This realization has brought technology investment decisions to the top of board room agendas. Equally there is now a great degree of awareness among CEOs on the necessity of a robust cyber security infrastructure to protect their customers and businesses in a digital world. We see this being a continued focus of Risk Committees of Boards and this will drive an uptick in investment in this area.

Which verticals are the early adopters of digital, cloud, and security?

India has a number of digitally-native organizations that are poster children for the world – especially in the areas of e-commerce, payments, media and telecom. These companies continue to lead the adoption of advanced technologies.

What percentage of your India employees are working from home and what’s the future?

We have approximately 200,000+ people in India across our entities, and most of them continue to work from home. We will bring our people into offices only when we are comfortable that we have appropriate, location-specific measures and protocols in place and we are highly attuned to governments, health experts and our clients in guiding our plans. Over the long term, we see work environments become more digital and elastic to enable agile workforce structures, including the right blend of remote and in person interactions. Work from home will continue to play an important role in the overall mix, but personal, face to face engagement will be essential for success.

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