Global IT consultancy CGI has continued its expansion through the UK and Northern Ireland, with the launch of a new office in Belfast. The new hub will take the firm’s headcount across the UK and Northern Ireland to more than 6,000.
Northern Ireland is an active market for the professional services industry at present. Its strong skills base offers technology advisory firms significant potential for recruiting, while its close ties to the Republic of Ireland mean it is seen as a key bridge between the EU and the UK.
This has seen the consulting industry rapidly growing its presence across Northern Ireland’s markets. For example, PwC has significant growth plans in the country over the next five years, as is the case with Big Four competitor Deloitte, and RSM.
The latest firm to invest in its Northern Ireland presence is CGI. Founded in 1976, CGI Group is the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world. Originating from Canada, the firm now hosts approximately 74,000 professionals, who serve thousands of global clients from offices and delivery centres across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Over the last several years, CGI has taken a ‘place-based’ approach to developing its presence across the UK, illustrated in how it has grown scale and capability in the North East, North West and Scotland. Applying this approach in Northern Ireland’s largest city of Belfast, CGI will now recruit 50 new consultants and IT professionals – of which 16 roles have already been filled – to work alongside the its existing Digital Services Delivery Centre in Scotland.
Tara McGeehan, President, CGI in the UK and Australia, commented, “CGI is looking forward to partnering with clients in Northern Ireland to deliver world-class IT capabilities and solutions to meet their evolving digital needs. It is an exciting time for both Northern Ireland and CGI, so our aim is to replicate the success we have achieved in Scotland, where we have grown into one of the country’s biggest employers in the IT and business consulting services sector, in less than a decade.”
The company’s decision to move into Northern Ireland was made in 2020 during the pandemic. As a result, the new hires will be able to blend remote working with in-office collaboration at the firm’s Belfast hub. This will enable the team’s members to live and work near their clients, providing responsiveness, partnership and innovation.
Lindsay McGranaghan, CGI VP business unit leader for Northern Ireland and Scotland, added, “Our business model is different to most. Our team are the heart of our business, which is why most are shareholders, and they have the freedom to drive their careers, make decisions in the best interests of clients, take part in the continuous improvement of our company and benefit from a job well done.”
The firm’s arrival in Belfast sees CGI launch its 21st office across the UK and Northern Ireland. These also include branches in Reading, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Brockworth, Salford, Leicester, London, Liverpool, Galashiels, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Letherhead, Newcastle, Bridgend, Clwyd, Solihull, Chippenham, and Leeds.