Accenture helps clients tap multicloud opportunities
Accenture helps its clients with their biggest challenges. Cloud is evolving into what Accenture calls a cloud continuum. Clients need solutions such as multicloud management, mainframe to hybrid modernization, edge computing, and everything in between. These solutions need to be connected by Cloud First networks and ready to help enterprises gather data, meet regulations, address security challenges and improve efficiencies. Accenture is guiding its clients to tap into capabilities from one or multicloud providers across the continuum.
Accenture’s industry-optimized offerings provide a standardized approach that addresses critical industry challenges. Its platform for financial institutions, for instance, supports hundreds of millions of transactions daily and brings together an ecosystem of partners, with Red Hat as a primary technology partner. Red Hat® OpenShift®, for example, provides a robust and highly scalable foundation for Accenture’s financial payments platform as well as many other containerized applications.
What is the cloud continuum?
Gopal Pingali, MD and Global Hybrid Cloud Leader, Accenture: The whole notion of hybrid cloud is evolving. Hybrid cloud today is the reality—you have private clouds with multiple public clouds, moving to the edge and IoT.
Going forward, you’ll see more applications on the edge, and more supported by IoT. This is going to be the theme of this decade, with sustainability central to this whole picture. The term cloud continuum refers to the open approach to hybrid cloud needed to make that happen.
Tell us why Accenture believes the cloud continuum is so important?
Pingali: We are innovating for our clients. Our emphasis on the cloud continuum is because almost every client today has multiple clouds and private, on-premise infrastructure.
It may be because different departments work together, or because different applications and workloads run well in different environments, or because of sovereignty constraints. While some want to be cloud-agnostic, not locked into any one cloud provider, the majority simply want a unified approach with the ability to flexibly move across clouds.
Cloud continuum is the reality today, accelerated in the post-pandemic era. Whatever the catalyst, it all has to work together.
What has Accenture been doing to help clients make the most of this continuum?
Pingali: Accenture is a trusted services provider for our clients. We help them realize and get the greatest benefit from their business transformation. We help them maximize their return on investment and ensure end-to-end visibility and ability to manage their business based on their technology estate.
I look after our hybrid cloud offerings. The big areas for us are strategy and design, transformation, and managing and operating a cloud continuum. For hybrid cloud strategy and design, we look at, for instance, the to-be state, the return on investment and business case behind hybrid cloud, and how they should think about their applications. Then, for hybrid transformation, we look at how to accelerate change in terms of modernization and migration.
How has Accenture helped financial services?
Pingali: We have 19 major industries that we work with, and in each industry, we are taking forward very industry-specific value propositions. One example is a post-trade processing platform we’ve developed for the financial industry. It allows cash trading, securities, financing, and brokerage for the financial industries. Our platform is used extensively by many banks and financial institutions and performs many hundreds of millions of transactions every day.
We built it, modernized it, and have used an open hybrid cloud approach. Along the way, we customized it for the financial services industry, providing a specific architecture and the capabilities needed to support large-scale, post-trade processing. We addressed several challenges of this highly business-critical environment: zero downtime, high availability, and scalability.
Our experience gives us the credentials to help others transform. In the financial industry itself, we have worked with many clients to encourage their transformation based on that experience and first-hand knowledge.
How did you design a platform to address the challenges of zero downtime, high availability, and scalability?
Pingali: We needed an ecosystem of players to bring the post-trade processing platform together and make a holistic solution for our client because hybrid, by its very nature, involves many players coming together. We also wanted to lead the way in terms of modernization, so one of our early decisions was that this entire platform would be containerized.
Having Red Hat as the main technology partner was an early decision. We wanted to build this platform on Red Hat OpenShift. Red Hat OpenShift and its suite of products and capabilities that bring that open approach was our natural choice.
We containerized applications. We containerized infrastructure components like messaging and reverse proxy. Of the many vendors we worked with, many were adopting a containerized model for the first time. It was quite a journey.
Tell us more about that journey.
Pingali: It was a journey over five years, so we had to evolve with the technology which meant we had to use microservices and monolithic and multi-tier applications. We shared a lot of insights with Red Hat about what was working well and what was not working well. We also had a range of applications that we needed to run on the platform, including infrastructure and middleware components, so there was also a lot of two-way learning for both Accenture and Red Hat.
Where else are you working with Red Hat across the cloud continuum?
Pingali: We are bringing in scalable, repeatable, standardized offerings from Accenture in this space of cloud continuum built on Red Hat technology.
Across this continuum, you need an open architecture to operate anywhere. So, the first area where we’re innovating together is with open cloud and a continuum control plane that gives you unified visibility across the business, IT, and finance perspectives.
Second is automation. The potential for automation is continuously increasing, and the more complex the environment, the more the need for a platform. So, Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform gives us a strong platform for large-scale automation.
Sovereign cloud is a huge area, especially with the growing regulations around data, security, privacy, and residency. It’s also one of the biggest incentives for hybrid cloud because you need the right capabilities locally while being able to take advantage of the innovation in public clouds.
Edge is the fourth big area where we are innovating together because it’s where most growth is occurring in this decade for enterprises.
How do you see the partnership evolving?
Pingali: It’s getting stronger. Accenture recently announced an extended partnership with Red Hat focused on building joint capabilities and embedding Red Hat technologies into our services and solutions. Our global experts in centralized locations and in innovation centers and market locations very close to clients are bringing that deep client-facing expertise.
We are also accelerating our Red Hat integration and leadership into our most critical offerings because the biggest need we are seeing is clients asking about a holistic cloud strategy with a single pane of glass vision to manage their cloud environments. The next generation of offerings is in the areas of accelerated migration, modernization, and management across a continuum with open cloud capability, sovereignty, and edge.
What is the next big challenge?
Pingali: Our clients now realize that cloud is no longer a single destination but an operating model for innovation. They are doing a lot of things in a point-by-point fashion across the different parts of the cloud continuum, so they need one approach to bring this story together. A partner like Red Hat is crucial in this space.
The second is next-generation industry use cases, where organizations now have to reimagine and reinvent their business. Whether it is in telecommunications, banking or manufacturing, energy or retail, we have a number of use cases, but each is not possible without having the right capabilities.
Sustainability is probably going to be the biggest theme of this decade. Every industry will be transforming to support sustainability across its whole supply chain and in the way the business itself operates. Sustainability is going to be something very fundamental going forward. It’s a huge challenge in which we all need to participate.
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. With a global network of over 100 innovation hubs around the world, it applies industry expertise, diverse skill sets, and next-generation technology to each business challenge. Its 699,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, making a positive impact for all stakeholders and helping its clients become the next and best versions of themselves. https://accenture.com/