Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Cloud TV - Video Series

PwC AU moving to more aggressive stance on cloud (highlights video)

Having initially taken a conservative, low-risk approach to cloud, the global professional services giant's Australian business now plans to move up to 90% of its IT needs to private or public cloud over the next 18 months.

PwC Highlights

PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) business transformation leader and CIO, Hilda Clune, told ZDNet that most of its early cloud moves were to transition low-risk back office applications to software-as-a-service (SaaS). Innovation labs -- temporary CPU and storage capabilities spun up to support specific projects, often for client-facing staff -- also figured in early cloud initiatives.

"We want to get better at doing that in a very agile, low-cost way," Clune explains.

With some early cloud experience under its belt, PwC Australia is now looking to ramp up its use of cloud. Clune explains the business could move as much as 95 percent of its IT requirements to public or private cloud in the next 18 months. This will provide a range of business benefits, including economic benefits, but primarily it will allow PwC to concentrate on its core business.

"What we want to do is focus on what is high value to us and our clients, and leverage the capability in the market that is really specialising in the provision of cloud," Clune added.

She explains the cloud transition as "part of our broader strategy, we are driving the need to consume cloud, very much in partnership with our executive and our risk leadership as well. It is very much an IT-led strategy but very much with the cooperation of our executive."

Explaining how the move to cloud has changed IT strategy, execution, and even the skillsets required, Clune says: "to even establish cloud you need a completely different mindset from what we've had in the past running an internal datacentre."

The change management process for the transition to cloud leans heavily on the skills of the existing team.

"What is also essential is making sure that we harness the talent and capability we have in helping us transition to that new business model," added Clune.

PwC sees cloud as one element of a wider transformation to a "business-orientated digital strategy," where technology is an enabler for PwC's component businesses to transform their operations.

At the same time, Clune's role is to work with the business to facilitate the transformation.

"Whilst we have a very strong technology strategy...we're really encouraging the [PwC] businesses to understand more about their own digitisation journeys, and help them understand what's required in terms of planning -- both effort and funding -- to actually make that happen."

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