Accenture to Invest More Than $400M to Support Cloud Business


Accenture to Invest More Than $400M to Support Cloud Business

By Erin Harrison

Serving as the foundation to support the IT consulting company’s ambitious plan to become the industry’s “cloud broker” of choice, Accenture recently launched the Accenture Cloud Platform.

In support of the company’s broader cloud strategy, Accenture plans to invest more than $400 million in cloud technologies and training over the next two years. The Accenture Cloud Platform is designed to provide services and solutions that help organizations integrate and manage hybrid cloud environments that span across multiple vendor platforms.

Cloud brokering and orchestration services are of growing importance to Accenture’s clients, according to Jack Sepple, global senior managing director of cloud at Accenture. Many organizations are already embedding cloud with their legacy systems and traditional software to create hybrid environments. A hybrid model – with mission critical systems like ERP at the core and cloud-based innovation and on-demand services at the edge – promise the best of both worlds, Sepple explained in an interview with MSP Today.

“The hybrid model allows an organization to take advantage of the benefits offered by cloud services in terms of cost and flexibility, while preserving those of the traditional enterprise systems,” he said. “This requires a clear understanding of, and approach to, the skills, architecture, governance and security required, whether it’s the applications, platforms or IT infrastructure that’s in the cloud. As such, we have designed the Accenture Cloud Platform provides services and solutions designed to help organizations integrate and manage hybrid cloud environments.”

Accenture’s cloud platform is already in use on more than 200 projects, and Sepple said the consultancy firm is in a unique position to offer its portfolio of cloud offerings in all forms – public, private and hybrid.

“We believe our consulting heritage and asset-light market approach put us in a prime position to provide independent guidance while having the expertise to implement and manage a wide range of technologies,” he said.

As for security, Accenture is addressing this issue by working with clients to identify the security requirements that their cloud strategy requires and to design a comprehensive approach that supports the business goals, while considering industry-specific regulations and client risk tolerances, Sepple explained.

“In this respect, we address security across the entirely of cloud services the client uses, not just those in the cloud platform. We address application and infrastructure security solutions by getting security right across the cloud ecosystem, from the integration points to the data center, across applications and data elements. Moreover, we implement governance, processes and tools that centralize and streamline secure access to cloud services and applications,” he said. “Our security approach is designed to provide clients with foundation level security capabilities, elements that must be included in any cloud environment, as a baseline. We also allow the flexibility to leverage service provider-specific security capabilities, with the incremental option of layering complementary security products, processes and services on top of the foundation, to meet a wide range of client security interests.”

As part of the company’s overall investment in cloud, Accenture has created expanded services on the Accenture Cloud Platform, including public and virtual private cloud infrastructure, data decommissioning, software systems testing and big data analytics solutions in the cloud. The New York-based firm has already worked on more than 4,000 cloud projects for clients, including over half of the Fortune Global 100, and has more than 6,700 professionals trained in cloud, Sepple said.

According to IT research firm IDC, the total market size for cloud will grow from approximately $40 billion in 2012 to $98 billion in 2016. This includes projections for software as a service (SaaS) to reach $37 billion, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to reach $30 billion, system infrastructure software as a service to reach $20 billion, and platform as a service (PaaS) to reach $10 billion by 2016.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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