California Dreaming

What makes Silicon Valley’s iconic IT companies tick? New research points to the unique culture created and nurtured by these high-tech players—a blend of innovation, entrepreneurship and excitement others want to kindle. But can IT executives ignite this in their own companies?

Getting Serious About Analytics: Better Insights, Better Outcomes

Most businesses generate a lot of data, but relatively few use it effectively to create competitive advantage and enable high performance. Accenture’s Dave Rich, Brian McCarthy and Jeanne Harris use research findings and their experience to outline how high-performance businesses are using analytics to pull ahead of competitors and turn data into actionable insights.

How to Turn Data into a Strategic Asset

One of the most lucrative assets companies own could be the data they possess. The challenge is turning it into relevant, usable information. Analytics can be a powerful tool in this effort. Accenture profiles a five-step model for putting analytics at the center of corporate decision making.

How to Organize Your Analytical Talent

Companies increasingly rely on a relatively scarce resource to maintain their competitive edge: the people who are able to use statistics; rigorous quantitative or qualitative analysis; and information-modeling techniques to make business decisions. Or, in shorthand, “analytical talent.”

For business leaders, the importance of such people poses several challenges, but in our experience one question stands out: What’s the best way to organize analysts? Executives have … [ Read more ]

Using Enterprise Systems to Gain Uncommon Competitive Advantage

There’s no longer any real argument about whether enterprise systems add value. The eye-opener now is just how far those systems can catapult companies ahead of their competitors by giving them the distinctive capabilities that drive high performance.

Chains, Shops, and Networks: The Logic of Organizational Value

An accurate understanding of an organization’s value logic (which can also be thought of as its business model) is critical. Accenture’s research into distinctive capabilities, one of the building blocks of high-performance business, shows that a company’s ability to create a customer-centric “value algorithm” is central to the business’s success. At the highest level, a company’s value logic can provide important insights that enable a … [ Read more ]

Managing the IT Lifecycle

How can an organization derive maximum innovation and strategic value from its IT function? By adopting a three-stage approach that considers IT mastery as a management and organizational capability rather than a primarily technical one.

The Information Environment for Intangible Asset Management

For more than a decade, there have been arguments in favor of measuring and managing intangible resources. This class of assets (something the organization has) and capabilities (something it can do) includes such factors as human capital, knowledge capital, brand, R&D capability, IT and information management capability, and other non-financial resources. Numerous articles and books have been written on the subject, and separate Accenture research … [ Read more ]

Mastering Customer Context: Customer Interactions in a Mobile World

New wireless technologies will soon broadcast customers’ personal information, including their presence, preferences, and priorities. Providing services based on this digital information will require careful consideration of the six items of customer insight we call customer “context.” Companies that are able to integrate and use this information on a moment-by-moment basis will reap better and more profitable customer relationships.

How Do They Know Their Customers So Well? Lessons from the Leaders in Customer Knowledge Management

The management of customer knowledge is critical to many contemporary business initiatives involving customers and customer-relationships. Firms are investing billions of dollars in technologies to manage customer information and turn it into knowledge. Yet few organizations have developed outstanding levels of customer insight, and most concentrate only on the customer data that are easiest to address. In the research for this article, we investigated the … [ Read more ]

Data to Knowledge to Results: Building an Analytic Capability

Data remains one of our most abundant yet under-utilized resources. “Data to Knowledge to Results: Building an Analytic Capability” provides a holistic framework that will help companies maximize this resource. By outlining all the elements necessary to transform data into knowledge and then into business results, the paper helps managers understand that human performance elements must be attended to in addition to technology. The experience … [ Read more ]

Why IT Still Matters

While some aspects of IT are becoming commoditized, other types of IT can still create competitive advantage, according to an Accenture Institute for Strategic Change study. The authors point out three ways in which IT can still make a strategic difference, and present a set of rules for managing IT that distinguish commodity from value-creating IT.

Knowledge Management Strategies That Create Value

There is no one-size-fits-all way to effectively tap a firm’s intellectual capital. To create value, companies must focus on how knowledge is used to build critical capabilities.

Editor’s Note: introduces a framework based on four categories of work.