Azure a part of PwC’s cloud transformation

Attributed to: Pierre A. Legrand, CIO, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Global giant looks to the cloud to enhance digital delivery

As one of Australia’s and the world’s leading professional service firms, PwC prides itself on being able to deliver to our clients the best and most up-to-date advice on how they can assess their businesses or improve their performance in working with their clients.

Part of my role is consulting on technological issues and the past 12 months have provided a great deal of ‘hands on’ interest as I have watched PwC’s and our clients migration of its business services over to the public and private cloud.

No business is immune from disruption in the digital age and PwC like our client’s is no exception.

We have found, particularly in the consulting and assurance spaces, that a number of new players have emerged with access to applications and infrastructure and services which used to be a competitive advantage for firms like PwC. To offer services to our clients that can provide innovative solutions we had to adopt a hybrid cloud capability.

Through digital capabilities and cloud services, the new players often compete on price so with that in mind, we made the decision to adapt ourselves, leveraging those same cloud technologies that are doing the disrupting and allowing clients to look past price and at the expertise and experience that we can offer.

We made the decision to go with a hybrid cloud model to service our go to market activities, a private and public cloud consumption. We have specific regulatory constraints in terms of where we house our data and what we do, so in some cases we may need to keep a private capability that houses information that is within our boundaries and under our control. However, with some of our other services we offer that don’t require those type of stipulations we made the assessment of which clouds provide the best functional capability to adopt to the business needs, which is why, as part of our multi-cloud approach, we are using Microsoft Azure for some of our services.

We decided on Azure for a number of reasons. The first was that with Azure having data centres located in Australia it solved the issue of sovereignty which some customers may have in placing information in a data centre based offshore. We also have a strong and important Global relationship with Microsoft and the Microsoft ecosystem as a whole, so it made sense to establish certain services on Microsoft software, using in some cases Azure virtual machines.

With customers, we are working with a number of clients in the financial services area around the digital workspace and collaboration, so Office 365 is a part of that conversation, while we are also talking to them about seeking to leverage functions like Power BI and Cortana Analytics.

The cloud is driving innovation and efficiencies within business and Microsoft Azure is going to have a critical role to play in that transformation.

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