Accenture plans huge design recruitment drive – says it is building “design powerhouse”

The management consultancy and tech group, which bought Fjord in 2013, has invested £130 million in design in the past two years.

Image by flickr user Michael Grey
Image by flickr user Michael Grey

Management consultancy and technology group Accenture says it is embarking on a “large-scale” recruitment drive for designers with the aim of building on its “world-class design and innovation powerhouse”.

Accenture bought digital consultancy Fjord in 2013, in a deal which brought Fjord’s 200 employees and nine global offices into the management giant’s Accenture Interactive arm.

In the two years since the deal was signed, Accenture says it has more than doubled the size of the Fjord design team and increased its number of studios to 17 – with recent openings including Milan and São Paulo.

Accenture has brought design thinking into its internal processes

As well as working on client projects, Accenture says Fjord has also been working on internal initiatives – with its service design academy aiming to improve collaboration across the groups HR and IT departments.

Accenture says it has invested $200 million (£130 million) in design in the past two years. As well as acquiring Fjord it has also bought Texas-based digital design studio Chaotic Moon.

The network says it is aiming for further design growth and recruitment with a focus on service design “that drives business outcomes through the innovative use of digital technologies and elegant design”.

“We plan large-scale recruitment of design professionals”

The company says: “[We plan] to continue growing its Fjord unit both organically and strategically through a large-scale recruiting program for design professionals, training new and existing design professionals, and the opening of more Fjord design and innovation studios in the US and abroad.”

Accenture Interactive managing director Brian Whipple says: “While companies are only recently waking up to the power of design for business, we’ve already established a world-class design and innovation powerhouse and made it work.

“We are committed to extending our lead through significant and long term investment.”

IBM, McKinsey and Ericsson among others investing heavily in design

Accenture is one of a number of consulting and technology firms that has invested heavily in design in the last couple of years.

Red Bee Media was bought by Ericsson at the start of 2013, while earlier this year management giant McKinsey bought US studio Lunar in its first-ever acquisition of a design firm.

Meanwhile IBM is reportedly building the world’s largest design team, while Design Week’s study showed that nearly all the top ten most valuable brands in the world – listed on the 2015 BrandZ report, were using design to boost their offer.

“Design is rising to the C-suite”

Fjord co-founder and chief executive Olaf Schybergson says: “We’re firm believers in the transformational potential of design.

“As customer experience design rises rapidly to the level of C-suite conversations, we’re leading the way in showing how a design innovation approach can engender business success in everything from superior customer experiences to far-reaching organisational change.”

He adds: “The acquisition of Fjord… was important for the broader design industry. There’s been a lot of movement in the design industry in the last couple of years – in just the last few weeks there have been several acquisitions of design firms. What does put us further ahead as Fjord is that now as part of Accenture we’ve managed to perfect the fusion of those three technologies – design, technology and business – for several years now.”

Discover more:

Accenture buys digital consultancy Fjord

• Ericsson buys Red Bee Media

• Consultancy giant McKinsey bolts on design capability with Lunar acquisition

• How IBM is building the world’s biggest design team

• Find out how the world’s most valuable brands use design

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