When we made the decision several years ago to run our enterprise IT infrastructure in the cloud, little did we know how our global IT organization would flourish over the course of the next three years.  Yes, we had a pretty good idea we’d be able to operate faster, better and more cost effectively.  But we didn’t have a keen sense of how many doors would open in terms of operating and delivering so much more value for our company.

We started as we meant to go on, with aggressive targets like moving from being 9 percent to 50 percent operating in the cloud within one year. And while the second rung of the cloud adoption strategy, “cloud-first, cloud-only,” meant we could not work in the same way as we had been doing with our data centers, we discovered so many new options from adopting micro services—and turning them on or off to suit. Before we knew it, we had mind-boggling capability at our fingertips that was as unexpected as it was welcome.

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I know some companies are reluctant to go the route of public cloud. Yours might be one of them.  Perhaps you are skeptical about being data-driven or how that can really power your transformation to an intelligent enterprise. You might have concerns about the investment that will be needed in the systems, platforms, data, security and technologies to prepare your business for tomorrow, today. All I can say is, in our experience, cloud adoption is the way to go—and the sooner you adopt cloud, the more agile you can be in an increasingly competitive landscape

Our leaders understood such concerns because Accenture has lived that journey. But we’re not just totally “walking the walk” when it comes to cloud, we also see ourselves as cloud natives. 

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of Accenture is operating in the cloud

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Ninety-five percent of our company now operates in the cloud and now we’re heading for the next stage—living in the cloud.  Our people have discovered the “art of the possible” in the cloud, helping us to innovate at scale and pace and enabling our business to compete and grow. So for us, cloud is personal and we can back up that experience with deep understanding gained from working on more than 30,000 cloud projects with organizations around the world.

As our latest Accenture Technology Vision 2020 explores, we are post-digital people and customers, employees, partners and the public need more collaboration to chart the course for the future together. Leading businesses are working with customers to create digital experiences. People want the benefits of customization, but with ownership of their data and of the experience itself.  People want to co-own and co-design products—in many cases, they are no longer purchasing physical, finished items but conduits for evolving experiences.  These shifting patterns and such ongoing changes demand the flexibility and agility of cloud.

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Innovating in the cloud

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Public cloud is the future

Our journey to the cloud is delivering a more scalable, robust IT infrastructure that supports rapid development and deployment of capabilities to drive a post-digital Accenture. As we move forward into the next phase, our new “living in the cloud” journey focuses on four dimensions:

  1. Continuous optimization and transformation: Capitalizing on cloud is not just about being in the cloud; it’s about continuous optimization and transformation.
  2. Multi-cloud provider approach: Spreading risk concentration gives the flexibility to use the best of whichever provider meets a business objective.
  3. Enabling DevSecOps: To achieve many of the DevSecOps principles, being in the cloud is necessary; if not, an organization will fall short in getting to the desired state.
  4. Secure from the start: Cloud complexity stemming from operating multiple clouds and the rapid release of new services to market requires enhanced cloud security.

The future is bright for our business and for a living cloud environment. As the cloud market has matured, so has Accenture’s internal practices and capabilities. And as we figured out early on, there are plenty of lessons to be learned along the way. I invite you to take a look at some of our pitfalls and practicalities as you expertly navigate the many paths to realizing value on your own cloud journey. Or if you’d like to hear more about how we got here, watch our video from AWS re:invent 2019.

Merim Becirovic

Managing Director – Global IT, Enterprise Technology

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