With COVID-19 turning our daily lives upside down, we have all been reminded of how important it is to be fast, flexible and resilient. Living without leveraging the cloud is no longer an option.

It’s part of the reason why now, more than ever, Accenture is committed to running our business in the cloud. As we continue with our own cloud transformation, we are in a better position to help our clients understand the power of cloud. Today, our own multi-year journey has resulted in 95% of our IT infrastructure in the public cloud—and we haven’t finished yet.

People walking fastIncreasing our cloud footprint has been fundamental to our growth. Our business has more than 500,000 people, all using various devices to communicate securely and reliably in every corner of the world. To make the most of cloud capabilities, we needed to change our culture and processes.

We want services that pass robust compliance and security checks and don’t create vulnerabilities in our systems. We want to reduce manual processes and make infrastructure provisioning simpler and easier. And we’d like to use data and intelligent automation to make more of our infrastructure. With cloud-first capabilities in place, we can be ready for what comes our way in the future.

Tech-powered transformation

We began our cloud journey in 2015, developing a comprehensive approach—from establishing the foundation through rapid cloud adoption. We wanted to get started quickly, so we brought together external cloud specialists from various disciplines to upskill our own workforce and grow our cloud capabilities. In the last five years we have gained more than 200 cloud certifications and have 150 certified services in production.

As we shift our applications to the next generation of cloud, we look ahead to becoming more agile as an organization. The focus is on awareness and constant delivery. Our whole organization will operate with a single view of value and where our priorities lie. And our teams will continue to draw on the strengths of cloud, collaborating fully in a culture of innovation.

Further, we can rearchitect around the cloud to bring improvements to our network and security—better protecting our data and intellectual property. In the cloud, code is key, so the more the better to enhance the scope and scale of an “as-a-service” approach.

Cloud first and fast

Accenture is at the cutting edge of cloud optimization, taking advantage of the full capabilities of operating in the cloud. We automate with intelligence to “self-heal” components that fail. We optimize and evolve our network. Instead of multiyear network transformation programs that we have seen in the past, IT makes continuous enhancements through agile, real-time delivery, breaking down traditional IT siloes that act as barriers to innovation and encouraging collaboration and iteration in development.

Our gains are impressive: 99% decrease in average environment provisioning time (weeks to hours); 100% net new applications built as cloud native; 1,000+ automation programs delivered over three years resulting in 35% cumulative savings in operational cost.

If you’re interested in approaching your IT with a cloud-first mindset, here are some steps that could help guide you on your own cloud journey:

  1. Be fast and fluid. Solve for the majority. Build efficiently and rightsize your environments to align with actual consumption. Fail fast and iterate.
  2. Focus on outcomes: Apply patterns, use cases and requirements and not raw cloud services. Avoid implementing outlying cases and rationalize environment usage.
  3. Build and run differently: Closely align with our customers and bring them along for the journey. Make sure your organization has the right team with the right skills in place.

Take a look at our case study to find out more about how we are strengthening our journey to living in the cloud. You can also listen to the early stages of our cloud journey and read about our lessons learned, or watch the video about moving our employees to the cloud.

Don Galzarano

Managing Director – Global IT, Enterprise Architecture

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