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August 08, 2016
From greenspace to major footprint: Accenture’s journey to the public cloud
By: Merim Becirovic

A Look Inside Our Three-part Journey

A Look Inside Our Three-part Journey
Like many businesses today, Accenture’s business is growing and becoming more diverse and complex. In fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016 to date, for example, Accenture acquired 28 companies across 23 countries. As we change, we need to operate with more agility, speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness across multiple business units, processes and applications. These needs are driving our agenda to create a more digital enterprise.

To fulfill this vision for a digital Accenture and create the agility, speed and efficiency required to become an innovative disruptor, Accenture decided to move our internal IT operations to the public cloud. Specifically, our internal IT organization is undertaking an aggressive three-year cloud program with the goal of delivering a more scalable, robust enterprise IT infrastructure.

Ultimately, this transformation initiative should help Accenture better enable digital services and experiences and generate business value through improved:

  • Agility – Handle higher variability and alleviate internal capacity management in order to manage changes, such as demand spikes, with no noticeable impact to customers and no capital investment requirements.

  • Speed – Deliver everything faster and more frequently, including new viable products, enhancements and upgrades.

  • Efficiency – Shift from being capital intensive with high overhead costs to a pay-by-the-drink model that enables more efficient spending.

  • Quality – Maintain less in-house to reduce support and customization requirements and create a higher-quality customer experience as a result. Relying on cloud service providers will simplify troubleshooting, security and operating models, which will allow our internal IT team to reallocate their time from maintenance to more strategic, value-add activities.

  • Innovation – Simplify and accelerate development and deployment so that business concepts can iterate rapidly against evolving market needs.

In short, our goal is to provision and operate infrastructure, application and service workloads anywhere (public, private or hybrid cloud) and anytime with resiliency and agility to empower Accenture’s digital enterprise. We plan to achieve this goal by following a comprehensive journey map that entails establishing a foundation through rapid cloud adoption, then optimizing the new environments and finally focusing on transforming IT processes, responsibilities and capabilities.

Starting an initiative like this, particularly at an organization of Accenture’s scale, is daunting. But our internal IT leaders and business stakeholders made the strategic decision in late 2014 to establish IT operations in the cloud—and to do it quickly. By January 2015, our internal IT team organized a global team to lead the effort. Since then, the initiative has not only mobilized our internal IT teams, but it’s also led to a direct partnership with our go-to-market cloud offering teams such as Accenture Cloud Platform and Accenture Hybrid Cloud Services, so that we can use the same offerings in-house that we provide to clients.

Over the coming weeks, I will discuss the three main phases of Accenture’s journey to the public cloud, what we’ve accomplished to date and how our learnings can benefit others.

A Look Inside Our Three-part Journey

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