Accenture’s $3 billion investment in its Accenture Cloud First business will bring together 70,000 professionals from a range of disciplines and practices, from cloud-native development to human performance.
However, the professional services firm’s Accenture Cloud First group, rolled out in September, won’t be going it alone. The company intends to enlist its partnerships with cloud platform providers as part of its cloud investment plan.
Accenture has steadily extended its reach across multiple clouds. In 2015, the company launched its AWS Business Group, which now employs more than 8,000 people with AWS training. Accenture’s Google Cloud Business Group debuted in 2018, followed by the creation of Microsoft and Alibaba business groups in 2019. The business group rollouts typically built upon earlier alliances. The Microsoft Business Group, for example, was developed with Avanade, an Accenture-Microsoft joint venture company founded in 2000, while the Alibaba Business Group stems from a collaboration between Accenture and Alibaba that dates to 2016.
Collaborating with cloud partners
Annette Rippert, group chief executive of strategy and consulting at Accenture, noted the company’s history of joint development and co-selling with cloud partners. Accenture’s cloud group will continue that strategy. She added that new investments in cloud partner collaboration will help the company address “some of the very biggest opportunities” under consideration among clients.
Accenture’s focus on cloud alliances demonstrates that even the largest IT services providers must cultivate partnerships to meet customer needs. Interest in the cloud has only accelerated in the COVID-19 economy as organizations seek to build resiliency and devise adaptive strategies.
The growing volume of cloud work is compounded by the demand for rapid innovation. Customers need to make drastic changes to stay afloat today and prepare for an uncertain tomorrow. Indeed, the latest digital transformation projects favor speed. Cloud, along with other technologies such as low-code development, offer the ability to accelerate project delivery.
IT services firms like Accenture are tightening cloud platform partnerships as a step in that direction.