Accenture expects to spend $3 billion over three years on its Accenture Cloud First venture, which will be led by Karthik Narain.
It will be staffed by around 70,000 cloud professionals, and will bring to bear Accenture's industry and technology capabilities, ecosystem partnerships, and commitment to upskilling clients' employees.
In addition to cloud technology expertise, the new unit can provide industry and cross-industry insights, data and applied intelligence capabilities, UX design skills, and "experience in modernising and operating large IT estates and key business processes across finance, HR, marketing and supply chain."
The $3 billion will be spent in areas such as 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.
Accenture Cloud First will be rolled out progressively across all geographical markets, including Australia.
It may open up new job opportunities: "Accenture will hire to ensure that we have the right skills mix for Cloud First in every market, including ANZ," said a spokesperson for Accenture.
"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," said Accenture CEO Julie Sweet.
"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 Technology group chief executive Paul Daugherty said "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."
Accenture Strategy and Consulting group chief executive Annette Rippert pointed out that Accenture is already 95% in the cloud.