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A place for “Continuum Competitors”

Sep 16, 2021 | Cloud | 0 comments


Only 12-15% of companies are integrating the full potential of the cloud into their development. Accenture defines this minority as “Continuum Competitors”. This group, explains Alain Lesenechal, Executive Director, Cloud First, Accenture, “is embarking on a more sophisticated trajectory by looking at the cloud as a continuum of technologies that spans different locations and property types.” These companies “are innovating more in automation, work reorganisation, customer experience, etc. They are two to three times more efficient!”

Based on a survey of nearly 4,000 senior executives in private and public sector organisations around the world, the report, titled Ever-ready for Every Opportunity: How to Unleash Competitiveness on the Cloud Continuum, explains why you should consider the cloud as a single migration to a static destination – essentially a cheaper and more efficient data center – is limiting. In fact, a narrow focus on cost savings can put businesses at a disadvantage over those that use the cloud more strategically in its many dynamic forms. Overall, the cloud allows businesses to save money. In Europe, Accenture estimated, “Continuum Competitors” achieve up to 2.7 times greater cost reduction than organizations that focus primarily on data migration.

A matter of speed and determination

Who are they? Contrary to what one might think, the companies in this group are not necessarily technology companies by definition. “Cloud acceleration and adoption is universal; those who do it best are those who do it the fastest”, simply says Alain Lesenechal. Some companies, sometimes more than a hundred years old, have been able to make a success of this transition by demonstrating agility. And Accenture cites 3M, Carlsberg, Roche, Siemens and Starbucks, all pre-cloud companies that have gone beyond migration to innovate using cloud technology.

“They were able to find savings and bring a new service offer to their target market, to customers or internally to employees,” says Alain Lesenechal. Going beyond simple migration means adopting four approaches that Accenture said it identified among organizations that fell into the “competitor continuum” category.

Four approaches

First, these are companies with an innovation strategy using cloud technology. These organizations have a clearly defined vision for the migration and ambitious future use of cloud technologies. They also identify their vulnerabilities and capacities before starting the process so they know where they stand from the start.

Second, “continuum competitors” also demonstrate an agile mindset outside of their technology. Agility “permeates other practices such as continuous goals, cloud-centric applications, talent transformation, IT experimentation, and compute awareness.” Transforming business practices alongside IT changes are key to increasing innovation and increasing revenue, Accenture says.

Third, all companies focus their investments on experiences, both internal and external. Design centers on humans and cloud technology are used to rethink organizational strategy, products and services, delivery models and employee experience.

Finally, “continuum competitors” are committed to continually strategizing, and these strategies include all employees from top to bottom. Keeping up with the latest technology affects everyone in an organization, recalls Accenture. Successful ones have employees who are knowledgeable about the strategy, trained to manage it, and supported in their needs.