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How Accenture’s internal transformation shaped its local go-to-market strategy

Chris Player | June 21, 2017
Shift to public cloud reinvigorates GSI's approach to new technologies.

As one of the world's largest global system integrators (GSIs), Accenture is a difficult ship to turn at speed.

But as the past two years have demonstrated, the business has come through a round of internal transformation initiatives, initiatives which has left the company leaner and hungrier to compete.

In fact, Accenture is in the process of transforming itself into a digital-first enterprise, which the GSI currently over halfway in the public cloud.

"Internally we are moving more and more applications to the cloud," Accenture managing director of infrastructure services A/NZ Andre Conti told ARN.

"It is horses for courses because some of the applications we had to move to the cloud went straight to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution."

Previously, Conti said the company’s global system for facility and sales process management was running on an on-premise SAP solution, before an internal switch to Salesforce.

This was also the case for Office 365 and Skype for Business, where the company made the decision to shift from an old on-premise environment to public cloud technologies.

Given the size of Accenture - a company which employs more than 4000 staff in Australia and 400,000 globally - this instantly elevated the business to one of the largest users of these three applications worldwide.

“A few years ago, our CIO made an assessment that cloud was the future and decided to go all in on cloud," he said. "Since then, we have been on this journey to migrate applications and data into a cloud-based solution."

As a result of this shift, Conti said Accenture has dramatically reduced its global data centre footprint, and now retains facilities in only three countries, spanning the US, UK and Germany.

"Not everything can end up on AWS [Amazon Web Services] and Microsoft Azure so it is about what solution is appropriate for each workload,” he explained.

Currently, Conti said the integrator has 60 per cent of all applications in the cloud, with a goal of reaching 90 per cent within the next 18 months.

The remaining workloads and data sets will need to remain in Accenture’s own data centres due to data sovereignty and other regulatory requirements.

"We are using a multi-cloud approach and this is key because it increases our agility and speeds up delivery compared to the old method of buying solutions for our own data centres,” he said.

This shift in thinking is not restricted to cloud however.

Locally, the Accenture business also recently made a push into other digital markets through the acquisition of creative agency, The Monkeys, and design business, Maud.

The scale at which Accenture operates has resulted in the business developing bespoke solutions to facilitate its move to cloud.

 

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