Accenture announced yesterday that it will invest a walloping US$3 billion in artificial intelligence (AI) over the next three years and double its AI workforce to 80,000, three months after it slashed 19,000 jobs.
The company said at the time that it was looking to trim costs, and even lowered its annual revenue and profit growth guidance for 2024.
But the professional services company is following in Big Tech’s footsteps, axing thousands of jobs and streamlining costs to prioritize the AI juggernaut.
The company said in a release that it intends to offer new industry solutions and pre-built models through its Data & AI practice to accelerate clients’ use of AI.
“There is unprecedented interest in all areas of AI, and the substantial investment we are making in our Data & AI practice will help our clients move from interest to action to value, and in a responsible way with clear business cases,” said Julie Sweet, chair and chief executive of Accenture.
Sweet added that AI is changing rapidly, and that Accenture seeks to help companies navigate quickly and cost effectively to make smart decisions. The company touts its AI expertise, spanning 1,450 patents and pending patent applications worldwide as well as hundreds of solutions ranging from marketing to retail, and security to manufacturing.
Accenture is also pouncing on the generative AI fervor with AI Navigator for Enterprise, which will help clients define business cases, make decisions, navigate AI journeys, understand algorithms and models. This, and the types of roles that the company eliminated in March – primarily HR, finance, and legal staff – give an indication of the areas that Accenture will seek to make more efficient with AI.
The company said its Center for Advanced AI will also maximize use of generative AI R&D to reimagine service delivery.
The expansion of the Data & AI team to 80,000 amounts to a little over 10 per cent of Accenture’s total workforce, which consists of 738,000 staff working in over 120 countries.