Glasgow tech firm acquires London DevOps specialist

A Glasgow-headquartered IT consultancy firm has acquired a London-based DevOps specialist as it seeks to broaden its services offered to large businesses.

ECS, which has its roots in networks, data centres, cloud services and consultancy, has bought Forest Technologies as it seeks to plug itself into the digital transformation market.

FTSE 100 customers

By purchasing the company, whose clients include the likes of RBS, Vodafone and Walmart, ECS is seeking to capitalise on the growing appetite among large firms to transform their business models.

Paul Thomson, Group Chief Executive, ECS, said: “Our existing FTSE 100 customers are looking to ECS for direction and thought leadership as they plan, design and implement their digital transformation programmes. 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.”

According to Gartner, 2016 is the year that DevOps goes “mainstream”, employed by 25% of the ‘global 2000’ organisations.

DevOps gap in market

ECS believes there is a “major gap: in the enterprise market for an IT services partner with deep experience of working with FTSE 100 companies and a successful track record in implementing DevOps/Continuous Delivery projects. By combining the two firms’ talented teams, this gap is “filled”, the firm said.

Founded by CEO Andy Cureton in 2003, Forest Technologies provides DevOps and Continuous Delivery expertise to firms undertaking digital transformation initiatives to improve business agility and create competitive advantage. The firm works as a consulting partner with key vendors including Automic, AppDynamics, AWS, Docker and Puppet, as well as directly with some of the world’s largest global businesses. Revenues have grown five-fold in the last four years and the firm is on track to achieve record revenues again this financial year.

Focus on large enterprises

Following the acquisition, Andy Cureton becomes Managing Director of ECS’s new Digital Practice, reporting to ECS Group Chief Executive Paul Thomson. All Forest Technologies’ 22 employees are joining ECS. The focus for direct sales growth will be on large enterprise customers in the UK and Asia-Pacific via the firm’s fast-growing Singapore office. The company will continue to grow indirect revenues globally by building on its existing relationships with the leading DevOps vendors. Key markets for indirect growth include Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

Dr. Katy Ring, Research Director for Global IT Services at 451 Research, added: “Businesses have an urgent requirement to offer digital services. This means that their IT teams need to think like e-commerce shops and employ DevOps techniques. Because of this there’s a huge demand for skills and expertise in this space as DevOps approaches are increasingly deployed within traditional, large organisations who are looking to transform their businesses. ECS’s acquisition of Forest Technologies shows just how quickly this market is maturing.”