Real-time service delivery of enterprise functions such as HR, finance and accounting, analytics, marketing supply chain, sourcing and procurement has arrived and is quickly evolving for many other business services. Research by Accenture reveals that in 2017, 46% of organisations surveyed plan to implement new capabilities through the ‘As-a-Service’ model.

The typical approach to As-a-Service involves split responsibility across value chains and teams where the owner is responsible for integrating the services to deliver the outcome. There has been a recent shift from organisations across industries to implement these services in real-time.

The value of real-time service lies in its ability to enable businesses to focus energy and resources to be spent on their core, distinctive activities and leverage a partner to carry out their services.

Value chains are being disrupted constantly, making it important for organisations to utilise the ecosystem to protect their unique service offering. This approach optimises scarce resources (people, capital and time), while at the same time delivering improved business outcomes.

Despite the known value of real-time service, many businesses are struggling to take advantage of this solution. Organisations need to get on board to ensure they are operating at optimum levels and realising the true value of their businesses.

The promise of real-time service is derived from several critical business drivers:

  1. Agility

    Merger and acquisition opportunities and operating-model changes all depend on the ability to move at speed and with flexibility.

    With rapidly changing value chains and cross-industry convergence, companies have veered towards platforms and ecosystem capabilities to plug-in, scale, and leverage, standardised services.

    Rather than committing to services or functionality that may not be needed, organisations can buy services based on consumption, with operating models that can be mobilised and demobilised according to changing market conditions. Real-time services equal real-time people, processes, and technologies that flex with the business.

  2. Competitiveness

    Real-time service allows time, energy and resources to be spent on core value differentiating activities to deliver on outcomes that matter to the customer.

    By standardising capabilities such as how employees are hired and how items are purchased, organisations can gain significant cost savings and a distinct competitive advantage.

  3. Speed

    Organisations using real-time services can plug into world-class capabilities on-demand in a matter of days or weeks, to quickly achieve desired outcomes.

    For instance, corporations in the resources industry work with Accenture to rapidly set up finance, accounting, procurement, supply chain analytics, and customer care with minimal business disruption.

  4. Innovation

    A key attribute and differentiator is that real-time services are delivered by a partner with an extensive ecosystem that is constantly benefiting from investment in innovation.

    Services are always up-to-date, and buyers have continuous access to innovation, scale and in-depth expertise. Furthermore, the more companies plug into an ecosystem of partners across multiple activities and functions, the greater the ability to leverage new ideas and improvements across the world.

  5. Value

    The core value proposition of real-time services is that they are designed and implemented around specified business outcomes such as increased revenues, improved profitability, reduced risk, and enhanced customer service, or they support expansion into new markets.

    To achieve these outcomes organisations need a partner, rather than a service provider, that is willing to collaborate to adapt, innovate and future-proof over the long term.

Real-time service is a technology-enabled solution that optimises business outcomes by allowing organisations to become more agile and competitive. By adapting services that are scalable, consumption based and outcome oriented, organisations can quickly respond to market demands and support new strategic direction.

Real-time service is a fundamental strategic transformation that offers a competitive advantage and goes to the heart of a business’s ability to innovate, compete and prosper.