Why Accenture (ACN) Is Launching A Cloud First Initiative With A $3 Billion Investment

By Annie Baker ● September 19, 2020
  • This week, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) had announced it is forming a new initiative called Accenture Cloud First with a $3 billion investment over three years to help clients across all industries rapidly become “cloud-first” businesses

This week, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) had announced it is forming a new initiative called Accenture Cloud First with a $3 billion investment over three years to help clients across all industries rapidly become “cloud-first” businesses and accelerate their digital transformation in order to realize greater value at speed and scale. And Karthik Narain will lead Accenture Cloud First and join the Global Management Committee, effective October 1.

Narain most recently served as the lead for Accenture Technology in North America, helping guide Global 2000 brands in using the power of the cloud and other technologies to transform their businesses. And over his 20-year career, he has led many innovative technology programs for clients across a variety of industry sectors, including Software & Platforms, Financial Services, and High Tech. Karthik also previously led Technology services for Accenture’s Communications, Media, and High Tech industry segments. 

Accenture is known for being a leading partner to the world’s major cloud providers. And with approximately $11 billion in cloud revenue in its fiscal year 2019, Accenture’s leadership spans from Software as a Service to its migration, infrastructure, and application cloud services. Over 100,000 Accenture cloud professionals help clients build, move, and operate their businesses in the cloud and realize the benefits of the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation.

Accenture Cloud First is known as a new multi-service group of 70,000 cloud professionals that brings together the full power of Accenture’s industry and technology capabilities, ecosystem partnerships, and commitment to learning and upskilling clients’ employees and to responsible business with the singular focus of enabling organizations to move to the cloud with greater speed and achieve greater value for all their stakeholders. 

Specifically, the new group integrates the company’s wide-ranging cloud expertise, including cloud migration, infrastructure, and application services and ecosystem partnerships along with deep industry and cross-industry insights, data, and Applied Intelligence capabilities. And it also taps into Accenture Interactive’s leading experience design skills and insights from the company’s unmatched experience in modernizing and operating large IT estates and key business processes across finance, HR, marketing, supply chain, and specific industries for leading global companies. 

This operational experience at scale is critical for ensuring companies realize value from their cloud and digital transformation. And edge computing — integrated with the cloud — also will be a key focus area.

Accenture Cloud First also combines strong learning and talent development expertise, deep experience in cloud change management, and cloud-ready operating models with a commitment to responsible business by design with security, data privacy, responsible use of artificial intelligence, sustainability and ethics, and compliance built into the fundamental changes Accenture helps companies achieve.

How will the $3 billion be spent? Accenture’s $3 billion investment will be used to continue advancing — often together with its cloud and technology ecosystem partners — industry roadmaps, data models, and solutions, cloud AI data and AI architectures, integrated full-stack infrastructure and applications capabilities, cloud tools, assets, and automation to drive lower unit cost and innovation and research and development in edge computing and related cloud technologies.


“COVID-19 has created a new inflection point that requires every company to dramatically accelerate the move to the cloud as a foundation for digital transformation to build the resilience, new experiences and products, trust, speed, and structural cost reduction that the ongoing health, economic and societal crisis demands — and that a better future for all requires. Accenture Cloud First and our substantial investment demonstrate our commitment to delivering greater value to our clients when they need it most. Digital transformation requires cloud at scale, and post-COVID leadership requires that every business become a ‘cloud-first’ business.”

— Accenture CEO Julie Sweet 

“Cloud is the most disruptive and value-creating technology of our time — it is the foundation for the digital transformation that is driving profound changes in how businesses operate, compete and create value for all their stakeholders. With most businesses currently at only about 20% in the cloud, moving to 80% or more rapidly and cost effectively is a massive change that requires a bold new model. Accenture Cloud First, along with our $3 billion investment and our market-leading Software as a Service capabilities in Intelligent Platform Services, ensures that we provide our clients with value, speed and innovation in every part of their cloud journey.”

— Paul Daugherty, group chief executive, Accenture Technology

 “The acceleration to new levels of digital performance by companies requires a transformation of talent across the enterprise to achieve truly new ways of competing, operating and serving customers. We believe that helping our clients purposefully build the core skills they need and quickly adopt new ways of working is essential to achieve value moving to the cloud. Accenture Cloud First brings our strong capabilities in driving change and developing talent not only for our clients but also for Accenture — we are already 95% in the cloud, and in FY19, we invested $1 billion in developing our people.”

— Annette Rippert, group chief executive, Accenture Strategy and Consulting