PwC is the latest consulting giant to promote Google Apps for Work -- the SaaS platform that competes with Microsoft Office 365. PwC will also support Google Cloud Platform, which competes with Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. The PwC moves reinforce new cloud realities for corporate IT departments and the world of IT outsourcing.

PwC, Accenture and many other consulting giants grew up recommending, deploying and supporting complex, on-premises IT environments for customers. But as large and midsize companies move some workloads to public clouds, consulting firms have been forced to evolve their service portfolios.

Today's PwC-Google partnership reinforces that new reality. In a joint statement, the two companies said they will:

  • Help companies succeed by leveraging PwC’s business insights along with Google Apps.
  • Combine PwC's analytics expertise with Google Cloud Platform to help customers optimize operations.
  • Help companies to drive innovation

Bigger Trend

In some ways, PwC is late to the Google Apps cloud game -- particularly in the government and education markets, where scores of companies now run Google Apps for Work. Meanwhile, Microsoft claims roughly 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies are running some form of Office 365.

All that said, the next battleground is likely IaaS -- where PwC and others will help customers move virtualized workloads to onto Google Cloud Platform. But PwC certainly isn't alone. 

For instance, Accenture and Microsoft created Avanade -- an IT consulting firm focused on the software stack. More recently, Avanade has focused on Microsoft's cloud stack.

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