​Accenture to have 90 percent of internal IT in the cloud by 2019

With 60 of its entire IT infrastructure and applications already in the cloud, Accenture expects all but 10 percent to be deployed within 12 to 18 months.

Over the course of the next 12 to 18 months, Accenture hopes to have around 90 percent of its IT and IT applications in the cloud, with Accenture Australia's journey to cloud lead Andre Conti telling ZDNet the professional services company is on its way there.

"We are eating our own dog food, basically," Conti said in jest. "We're not just doing this because we like the cloud; it's a business differentiator."

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With more than 260,000 people across the organisation, Conti said Accenture is one of the biggest users of Office 365 in the world; similarly, it is the biggest user in the world of cloud for business. For internal document management, Accenture uses a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution such as Salesforce, which the company utilises for its sales management.

"Between the SaaS, the PaaS, and the IaaS, we basically have already migrated 60 percent of our entire IT infrastructure and applications to the cloud," he said.

As the cloud lead for Australia and New Zealand, Conti's role also sees him act in an advisory role for organisations looking to head to the cloud.

"There's not just one journey to cloud. I would say that it's like an ice cream, there are different flavours," he said. "There are different scenarios, but cloud is becoming one of the foundational technologies that enables all of the projects and programs to come alive at a very low cost and in an agile way."

While concerns to move critical data to the cloud have previously caused a hesitation for organisations, Conti said Australians are held back more due to existing or legacy infrastructure and near-new applications, rather than being unwilling.

"I talk to large customers and enterprises, and they pretty much have all embraced cloud in different ways. Some are at the beginning of their journey, some are halfway there, and some are all the way there in terms of embracing cloud technology," Conti told ZDNet.

"Cloud in many large enterprises is a new practice and a new technology, and even though a lot of companies have embraced cloud, they're still at the beginning of their journey."

To Conti, it isn't just changing or upgrading particular technologies; it's changing how an organisation acts, which he commented can be a hard thing to do.

"What is preventing them to go faster in my view is there has been a lot of investment that has been done in the past -- legacy infrastructure," he explained.

"There will be a natural point in time where some of that infrastructure application will have to be lifecycled."

Most likely, these will be replaced with a cloud-first or cloud-only investment, Conti said.

While Conti touted cloud as a cost-effective option, he said utilising the cloud most importantly enables an organisation to "become faster, more agile, and deliver more innovation".

"A lot of people start this cloud thing with money in mind, but they realise the agility, the speed, and the innovation are really the driving factors," he said.

"The tipping point is over. There's not going to be a reverse trend of people coming back from public cloud to more traditional on-premise.

"The business case is so strong it makes very little sense to keep doing the old way."

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