Accenture, a Fortune Global 500 consulting company, identifies and analyzes emerging technology trends set to help revolutionize companies in the coming years. They rolled out a training program for employees to apply key technologies that will become more relevant to the world. They specifically look at how the cloud can take advantage of continuous integration and development to increase productivity and efficiency between sprints.
With the belief that everyone should be aware of the tools available to them and how tech can solve problems, four Accenture employees discussed cloud technology, how they got into working in their field, and tips for working on the cutting edge of tech.
Here are the key takeaways from the panel:
Every Five Years Everything Changes in Technology
Dean Marsh, a Managing Director – Cloud First at Accenture, sells large programs involving the cloud to Accenture’s biggest customers. He grew up in the projects in Brooklyn, New York, got his master’s in computer science, and spent the bulk of his career at IBM managing multi-billion dollar projects and later helping IBM get started in the cloud. He came to Accenture when they made a $3 billion investment in cloud-first initiatives.
Marsh explained the cloud as having the ability to provide access to technology without wondering what’s behind it, which offers the ability to provide computer and storage resources remotely as a service. To showcase daily examples in our lives of the power of the cloud, he gave the example of Hulu and Netflix knowing where you left off on the movie you were watching and recommending other movies you may like (versus using a DVD player). Another example is an airline ticket in your airline app, where gate changes show up in the app versus following boards across the airport to find more information.
“The technology we hold in our palms currently (our apps on our smartphones) are 100x more powerful than the tech that got man to the moon.”Dean Marsh, Accenture
When asked about why he enjoys working in tech, he shared that every five years everything changes from a technology perspective. Smartphones were invented in 2007, the cloud started in 2010, but there is always something new (like AI, IoT) that you have to keep up with. He says that is what makes his career fun and exciting – the advancing state-of-the-art technologies and being 5-10 years ahead of what is commonplace.
Technologies to Enable the “Work from Anywhere” Model Will Be Critical Into 2022
Nicole Flowers works as Accenture’s North East Cloud Practice Lead. She grew up in Jamaica and came to the U.S. at the age of 17. As a first-generation immigrant, Flowers was taught to “do something right or not at all” and that if she wanted to be good at something, she had to be “willing to practice all day long, eat and sleep it.”
After receiving her B.S. in Computer Science and Math, she became the New England business lead for Microsoft for health and public service clients managing private and public cloud environments. At Accenture, Flowers talks with firms about how to chart the course into 2022 while prioritizing an anywhere working model to think beyond physical locations where employees work, collaborate, and deliver great customer service experiences. Accenture standardized on Microsoft teams to enable the future vision of work, uses Yammer for internal publications, and Viva to further enhance and enable the user experience.
Given that Viva can use tags to look across knowledge libraries to find information and link to learning management platforms and portals, Flowers is investigating how to best use AI capabilities to start tagging things to enable a seamless interface to communicate, share information, and support a learning platform.
Great Technologists Need to Be Willing to Learn From Failure
Terry Pickett is a manager in the Implied Intelligence Practice at Accenture. He works with data and analytics clients in the financial services space (including asset management, wealth management, and banks on the retail and corporate side). He loves testing software and now leverages cloud warehouses to design data warehouses with Microsoft Azure. Pickett builds out reporting and analytics solutions to create predictive and propensity modeling to see what products and services clients would be most app to purchase.
Pickett is part of an experience group working on how to avoid information overload while giving access to the most information possible. Pickett’s advice to those looking to work in cloud or cutting-edge tech: don’t be afraid to fail and learn from the experience. He said that those willing to learn can be great technologists.
Drive and an Analytical Mindset Are More Important Than Having Every Skill
Renita Reddy is currently Associate Director of Technology at Accenture. She started her career with Accenture in Atlanta 21 years ago and now works as a delivery lead working with larger clients, figuring out the technology landscape needed to run their businesses more efficiently. Reddy maps out how technologies will talk to one another and pass data back and forth.
Reddy shares that having an analytical mindset and knowing how to ask for the right details, as well as a drive to never stop learning, will serve technologists more than having every skill in technology. Tech is changing and things become obsolete very quickly. A drive to “learn that next cool thing” is what will make a successful technologist.