Symantec and Accenture announced yesterday they are to join forces and create an independent organisation to assist businesses with IT risk management.

The security technology giant and consulting firm will form a global partnership to build and implement data security solutions for companies. Called Security Transformation Services, it will provide assistance in compliance, security monitoring, and management and application security.

The joint initiative will combine the key areas of expertise and abilities from Symantec and Accenture. Greg Hughes, executive vice president for global services, Symantec said: "We built Security Transformation Services to combine each company's strengths. We'll be able to provide customers with a unique mix of talent, knowledge, custom solutions and services to improve their security risk and save them time and money in the process."

Alastair MacWillson, global managing director for security services at Accenture, said the venture is a separate project from the original companies, focusing on new security offerings, brought to the market through Accenture's security practice.

"Customers will leverage existing relationships with either Accenture or Symantec. Both organisations will funnel appropriate opportunities to the initiative," he said.

But he said this announcement is not a response to the recent acquisition of ISS by IBM and therefore an attempt to build a rival "super services" organisation.

"The combination of Symantec and Accenture offers a unique set of expertise that is unparalled in the industry," he said.

"Both Symantec and Accenture have effectively competed against both IBM and ISS in the past in the areas of the joint initiative and we look forward to leveraging our synergies to compete even better in the future."