Rio Tinto to put IT systems in the cloud

Mining giant Rio Tinto is moving IT systems into the public cloud as part of a transformation agreement with Accenture

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Mining giant Rio Tinto is moving IT systems into the public cloud as part of a transformation agreement with Accenture that will see the company move to an as-a-service model.

The deal will help Rio Tinto cut costs through a pay-as-you-go model using Accenture’s CloudPlatform.

It will also create a platform for IT innovation, with a development centre in Singapore, and will support a digital transformation.

The contract will see Rio Tinto upgrade its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and information management platforms. Accenture will manage the maintenance and upgrade of this and related infrastructure, as well as transforming the global service desk and site support functions.

“Rio Tinto is on an ambitious journey to a world-class information systems and technology (IS&T) delivery model that is innovative, adaptable and cost-effective, fully supporting our business priorities and group operating model,” said Simon Benney, CIO at Rio Tinto Group.

Rio Tinto, which mines and processes minerals, has global operations with a strong presence in Australia and North America. 

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“We selected Accenture to help us manage this transformation based on its global delivery capabilities, its vision for the intelligent business cloud and its ability to support our digital transformation programme,” said Benney.

The move to the cloud means Rio Tinto will continue to benefit from lower infrastructure prices as public cloud prices continue to drop.

A recent report from RBC Capital revealed the extent of the price war being fought out between the cloud computing service providers.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is renowned for reducing prices on a regular basis as volumes increase, but the report from RBC Capital revealed cuts being made across the sector.

The big cloud suppliers – such as AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM – are locked in a battle to the bottom on price, which is unlikely to let up any time soon.

According to the RBC Capital report, AWS price per gigabyte of RAM dropped from $42 in October 2013 to $25 in December 2014. In the same period, Google’s price dropped from $52 per gigabyte of RAM to $32, IBM Softlayer reduced its price from $55 to $32, and Microsoft Azure fell from $46 to $34.

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