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Cloud Computing

Accenture scales a luminous summit with Cloud Sherpas deal

Accenture did not disclose how much it is paying to acquire Cloud Sherpas when it announced the deal yesterday but we can be pretty certain that it would have been pocket change, relatively speaking, for the world’s largest IT services provider. Still, the acquisition points to a profound change in the way companies use third-parties to help them with deploying and maintaining technology assets.

Accenture was born out of Andersen Consulting in 2000. Since then its progress has been inexorable and today Accenture has about 336,000 employees located all over the world, generating about $30bn in revenue.

But the nature of IT (or, better, ICT) services has changed and continues to change. Outsourcing deals are more often chunked down and the services business is truly global: as with peers, India has become strategic to Accenture, as have other parts of the world such as the Philippines.

And then there is the nature of IT itself. The transition from client/server architecture to cloud might provide some near- to mid-term impetus in change management projects but there’s no doubting that traditional cash-cow challenges such as deployment and systems integration are becoming less pronounced.

That’s why the Cloud Sherpas deal is so interesting. This is an eight-year-old cloud-native company with 1,100 service professionals specialising in deploying the likes of Salesforce.com, Workday, Google, ServiceNow and NetSuite. The deal is a recognition that the face of services is changing and the world of billable hours and multi-year deployments with opaque ROI metrics is fading in favour of a more rapid cadence and greater visibility and flexibility. The challenge for companies in the space will be to make an elegant transition or be slowly picked apart by newcomers. By acquiring Cloud Sherpas and through its Cloud First strategy, Accenture is showing it is fully cognisant of what’s happening.

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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