Global CIO: Accenture Should Start Buying—Here's A Shopping List

Where is it written that IT services companies have to sit back and wait to be acquired by IT product companies? Accenture has the power to reverse that trend and offer new value to CIOs.
--Informatica A premier data-integration player that helps everybody's software play with everybody else's software, and its expertise extends beyond tradtional ERP-type stuff into the hot new world of cloud computing. And a hunter's got to be a leader.

--Tibco Middleware, SOA, deliverer of real-time capabilities, Tibco is another highly gifted company whose products and services deliver the capabilities that Accenture will be looking to optimize.

--SuccessFactors The fast-growing public company's new strategy is around optimizing business execution—know any companies that aren't interested in that? And business execution is a huge part of the brand promise Accenture would offer.

--iRise This creator of the visualization category has an extraordinary list of global corporations on its client list as its products and services offer better ways to plan and execute extensive software projects. Could Accenture offer anything of higher value than that?

--Polycom Outstanding company and outstanding management in the soon-to-explode unified communications and telepresence fields. Polycom and its CEO Bob Haggerty offer better ways to enhance communication and business results, and that's what Accenture clients will expect.

--Fortify Software Unique approach to securing enterprise applications in ways that don't just lock out the bad guys but also extend business capabilities, and in this crappy economy Fortify says quarterly revenue grew 60%. CIOs are struggling with getting out ahead of security issues, and Accenture could, uh, fortify those efforts.

Not all "computer" companies are created the same—and in fact, there are no "computer" companies left. Oracle is redefining what a "software" company is, and we've seen the same type of innovative deconstruction take place in the traditional networking space, and security, and storage, and more. Leading examples are Cisco and EMC, both of which have moved aggressively and profitably into new areas offering greater value to customers.

In that context, it's time to stop looking at the world of IT services as if it's fixed and frozen back in 1998, with the inevitable outcome being that all services companies are the add-ons. Some are and that's fine, but not all. And the facts show that Accenture is in a position to shake up our preconceptions.

And remember: this isn't just about IT vendors and IT service companies. The larger message—the enduring message—is that nothing is written in stone; our futures are what we choose to make of them. And if in creating our future we choose to follow the conventional wisdom, we should not be surprised if we deliver conventional outcomes: average, predictable, unexceptional and low-reward.

Don't sit back, folks, and wait for your competitors to put you on the plate and prepare to stick a fork in you while deciding what part of you to attack first with the knife.

Make your own future. See the world in fresh ways through the eyes of your customers and the opportunities they offer.

Always be on offense. Be the Hunter, and pursue the hunted.

GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].

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