Accenture’s Acquisitive Strategy: Insights and Implications

February 2, 2023
Enterprise Tech and Services
Blogs

Accenture’s M&A trend is a reflection of the corporate strategy across the IT & ITES industry that largely relies on inorganic growth to build scalability.

In 2022, Accenture spent $3.4 billion on acquisitions, outpacing its spending on Research and Development which was at about $1.1 billion. Accenture’s acquisitions have spanned across several areas, including IT and cloud consulting services, analytics, digital, and management consulting. These acquisitions align with the company’s core positioning as a provider of 360° value to clients.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed companies towards digital transformation and cloud migration, and Accenture has responded with aggressive inorganic growth in these areas. Deep expertise in platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform is crucial for enterprises looking to achieve digital transformation goals. As businesses continue to invest in technology, demand for these services and, in turn, M&A activity in the space is unlikely to slow down.

Digital has been a central focus for enterprises in recent years, and a key differentiator is the seamless delivery of high-quality services and superior design. Accenture has incorporated this philosophy into its strategy through acquisitions of product and web application developers, front-end design agencies, and consultancies.

Data-driven intelligence and insights are crucial for achieving hyper-personalized customer engagement, which can have a major impact on sales. As such, enhancing data science, analytics, and AI/ML capabilities have been an integral part of Accenture’s inorganic growth strategy.

In addition, there has been an increase in demand for consultants to help enterprises meet carbon neutrality and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Accenture has completed five transactions in this space in 2022 and is expected to continue expanding in the near future.

Accenture’s geographic focus has also shifted towards Europe, including the UK, where it has made more than 65 acquisitions in the 2018-2022 time frame, compared to 43 acquisitions in the US. This marks a change from the company’s previous focus on the US.

Overall, Accenture has been the largest acquirer in the B2B tech and services industry in terms of both the number and size of transactions. Its M&A activity can therefore provide insight into the past, present, and future trends in the universe of services companies. Hence, we believe that it will be more valuable for IT/ITeS companies to Buy than to Build in order to solidify their position as a leader in the industry.

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AUTHORS

Adithya Sastha

Analyst - Enterprise Tech & Services

Santosh Kathira

VP - Enterprise Tech & Services

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