Looking to give organizations a significant leg up in terms of embracing Big Data analytics applications, Accenture today unfurled the Accenture Insights Platform.
John Matchette, managing director for analytics at Accenture, says by providing a complete stack of analytics software in the cloud that spans everything from the underlying storage platform such as Hadoop to the tools used to visualize the data being analyzed, Accenture plans to turn Big Data analytics into a service that is closely tied to specific business outcomes.
For example, Matchette says that Accenture consultants will use Accenture Insights Platform to build a variety of custom analytics applications aimed at specific use cases, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and various vertical industries. Over time, Matchette said that most of those applications will be made accessible to line of business users via a traditional user interface, as well as to developers invoking application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate Accenture Insights Platform with any number of third-party applications.
At the same time, however, Matchette says it’s just as likely that Accenture consultants will use the platform to deliver business insights as a service to customers directly.
While plenty of analytics applications are available in the cloud, Matchette said none of them come built around a modular four-layer stack that enables additional components, such as the data ingestion layer and analytics engine, to be swapped in and out over time. And none of them have the institutional knowledge of Accenture consultants baked into them.
Matchette said that since the Accenture Insights Platform is built on top of the Accenture Cloud platform, which itself is an instance of a hybrid cloud that spans multiple third-party data centers, there may be an instance where customers may opt to deploy it inside their own data center. But by and large, because of the costs involved in building and staffing, the company views Accenture Insights Platform as a service that customers will contract Accenture to use.
Given the complexity and costs associated with Big Data analytics, there’s naturally a build vs. buy vs. rent debate emerging with most organizations concerned about how best to proceed. In the case of Accenture, that debate clearly leans more toward renting a service that includes not only all the required software, but also the small army of people with the expertise required to run and manage it.