Accenture has launched its new Cloud Platform and has pledged to invest more than $400 million in cloud capabilities to help clients implement digital technologies to drive greater flexibility, innovation and growth.
As more and more clients are going digital, the Accenture Cloud Platform provides services and solutions designed to help organizations integrate and manage the hybrid cloud environments that span across multiple vendor platforms and are critical to providing flexibility and supporting emerging technologies. Accenture officials said the move is to help clients get the most business value from cloud computing and is in anticipation of the shift in demand toward the public cloud.
Overall, the Accenture Cloud Platform represents an important next step in Accenture's cloud strategy and reaffirms the company's intent to provide cloud brokering and orchestration services that are growing in importance to its clients. As part of this strategic initiative, Accenture will invest more than $400 million in cloud technologies, capabilities and training by 2015 to focus on delivering the right cloud services from its network of providers, as well as blending its own industry solutions and innovations with third-party offerings.
"Already in use on more than 200 projects, the Accenture Cloud Platform features proven technologies and business processes to help our clients make the safe journey to cloud," Jack Sepple, global senior managing director, for cloud at Accenture, said in a statement. "We foresee the growing use of public cloud services and are uniquely positioned to offer the best of breed from a variety of vendors. We are committed to moving our extensive portfolio of cloud offerings, broad ecosystem of alliance relationships and large global client base to the cloud in all forms—public, private and hybrid."
According to the Accenture Technology Vision 2013 report, digital technology has become a strategic imperative and a tool of competitive intent for businesses today. Supported by the cloud, technology trends like mobile, social collaboration and big data are changing the landscape as an increasing number of businesses go digital. The Accenture Cloud Platform provides a secure, scalable, and enterprise-ready cloud integration system to support these critical changes. It provides management and control over cloud services that are being delivered to clients, whether by Accenture or from a third-party provider such as Microsoft, SAP and others.
As part of its overall investment, 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.
Accenture has already worked on more than 4,000 cloud projects for clients, including more than half of the Fortune 100, and has more than 6,700 professionals trained in cloud computing technology.
According to industry analyst 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.
In February at the release of its Accenture Technology Vision 2013 report, Accenture outlined seven trends expected to have a major impact on enterprise IT over the year. Cloud computing was among those trends.
According to that report:
Technologies underpinning cloud are pervasive and here to stay, and the benefits are numerous: helping companies differentiate their business, get their products and services to market faster, enhance operational efficiency, and respond more quickly to new opportunities and challenges. The question for enterprises isn't "why should we use cloud?"—but rather, "how should we use cloud?" Many organizations are already embedding cloud with their legacy systems and traditional software to create "hybrid" environments. 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.
In today's digital landscape, the challenge for businesses "is to reimagine themselves in the context of an increasingly software-driven world," Paul Daugherty, Accenture's chief technology officer, said in a statement. "To succeed, organizations must leverage IT innovations to derive insights that enable them to optimize their enterprise, take advantage of emerging opportunities, strengthen customer loyalty and deliver better business outcomes."
For nearly 15 years, Accenture has been looking across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging IT trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and industries. For more information on this year's report, please visit www.accenture.com/technologyvision.