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September 1, 2016

UK services firm targets consultancy market gap with DevOps acquisition

News: Pushes it further into IT transformation projects.

By James Nunns

UK IT and security services firm ECS has acquired Forest Technologies in order to fill the gap between global consulting firms and niche players for large businesses undertaking digital transformations.

Glasgow based information technology consultancy ECS acquired the London based DevOps specialist Forest Technologies in order to add DevOps to its consulting capabilities.

Research firm Gartner says that DevOps will be adopted by one in four organisations in 2016, bringing it into the mainstream. This highlights the thinking behind the acquisition by the firm which provides IT transformation services to FTSE 100 companies.

Paul Thomson, Group Chief Executive, ECS, said: "This acquisition adds important DevOps and Continuous Delivery capabilities to our highly prized advisory and IT transformation services, giving us a full complement of experience, skill and expertise to help our customers build competitive advantage.”

ECS has typically worked on providing services such as IT security and technology upgrades to customers such as Nationwide Building Society, banks and supermarkets, and turns over £80m a year.

Founded in 2008, the privately held ECS has offices in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Pune. The company employs over 300 staff and has more than 500 associates.

Following the acquisition Forest Technologies CEO and founder Andy Cureton will become Managing Director of ECS’s new Digital Practice and will report to ECS Group Chief Executive, Paul Thomson.

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Forest Technologies was founded in 2003 and works as a consulting partner with vendors such as Automic, AWS, AppDynamics, Docker, and Puppet.The privately held company reports a turnover of £3m a year and has 22 employees, all of whom are joining ECS.

Andy Cureton, Forest Technologies Founder and CEO and now MD, ECS Digital Practice, said: There are many large ‘Mode 1’ enterprises seeking ‘Mode 2’ levels of agility and innovation through digital transformation, and this acquisition will help make that journey more achievable.”

“Specialist DevOps skills are hard to find, especially in these types of organisations. This drives demand for third-party support. But there are very few DevOps specialists with the experience of delivering these kinds of transformation projects for large enterprises. Choice has always been limited to a global, expensive consulting firm or a niche player that doesn’t typically work as a direct supplier.”

No financial details of the acquisition have been revealed.

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