Global IT and business consultancy CGI making moves Downunder

20 December 2021 3 min. read
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Global IT services firm CGI is set to double its Australian headcount through the acquisition of local tech advisory Unico, with the firm to also establish a new sector hub in Adelaide.

IT and business consulting firm CGI is making moves in Australia, having over the past few weeks acquired Unico, a Melbourne-based tech consultancy and systems integrator with around 160 professionals.

Founded almost four decades ago in 1984 by current technical director Geoff Illing and Mike Palmer (who has since sold to managing director John Rowland), Unico offers a range of services centred around data engineering and automation, internet of things, and systems integration, with a focus on the financial services, telecom, infrastructure, utilities, and defence and government sectors among others.

Global IT and business consultancy CGI making moves Downunder

Adding to its 80,000 consultants and professionals spread across some 30 countries worldwide, the purchase of Unico will double CGI’s headcount in Australia. Headquartered in Montreal and founded in 1976, the IT consulting firm has exploded internationally over the past twenty-odd years on the back of a string of acquisitions, and has further ambitions to double in size again over the next five to ten years.

“We look forward to welcoming Unico into the CGI family,” said CGI’s UK & Australia president, Tara McGeehan. “Right from our earliest discussions, it’s been clear that both organisations share similar values and capabilities, which we believe will result in a quick and successful integration. We are excited to bring together our expertise and innovation to build an even stronger presence in the Australian market.”

Meanwhile, the firm will also be looking to grow organically through the establishment of its Space, Defence and Intelligence hub in South Australia, with the aim to create 200 new, highly skilled technical jobs by 2024. CGI is the latest in a line of big tech consultancies to establish new innovation and delivery centres in Adelaide over the past year, including PwC, Deloitte, Accenture, and mostly recently Cognizant.

According to a press release, Adelaide was selected as the location for CGI’s major Australian expansion due to its emergence as a hi-tech hub (with the Australian Institute for Machine Learning and MIT’s bigdata Living Lab among other established residents), along with its burgeoning space and defence sector, underpinned by the recent AUKUS agreement to build a sovereign fleet of nuclear-powered subs in the state.

“We are delighted to open our new office and build long-term professional careers in Adelaide as a key centre for innovation in space and defence in Australia,” said Neil Timms, CGI’s senior vice president for Space, Defence and Intelligence in Australia and the UK. “We look forward to working in collaboration with the vibrant space and defence ecosystem across the country to support the ambitions of the government.”