In a major boost for Ireland’s depressed technology sector, IT services giant Accenture has announced plans to create an additional 150 jobs in Dublin before the end of this year.
The new jobs will be split approximately 50-50 between Accenture’s consultancy operation in the Irish Financial Services Centre and its European Service Centre in Grand Canal Quay. The company currently employs more than 800 people in Ireland.
Speaking to siliconrepublic.com, Leo Blennerhassett, managing director of Accenture Ireland, said the announcement is “a reaction to a pick-up in demand for services in our consulting business as well as the expansion of our European Service Centre.”
He added that the company remains “cautious” about the outlook for technology sector and emphasised that the company was increasing its headcount in response to an increase in existing rather than anticipated demand.
He said that growth was being experienced in all five areas of the consultancy business – communications/hi-tech; financial services; government; utilities; and products (retailing and heavy industry). While no single factor was driving demand, many organisations were restructuring and streamlining their businesses in response to new market conditions, which was helping to drive demand for Accenture’s change management services, he said. The new appointments will be made in a range of areas including software development, business process change, outsourcing applications management and web services.
The European Service Centre, which handles financial back office, IT helpdesk and accounts payable activities for 17 European countries, will now also become Accenture’s global procurement hub under the leadership of Kevin Graham, who manages the centre.
Accenture spends approximately US$2.5bn on goods and services annually. Although the company has already centralised some procurement in the US, today’s announcement confers on Dublin sole responsibility for global procurement. Blennerhassett was unable to say what level of cost savings the company hoped to achieve from the move.
The jobs announcement coincides with a recent visit to Chicago by An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Harney TD, during which she met with senior executives of Accenture.
“We believe Accenture’s decision to further expand its Irish operations reinforces our attractiveness as a key location for major high-quality organisations,” she said. “In the face of continued economic global uncertainty, companies must make sound and pragmatic decisions when it comes to growing their businesses. Clearly, over the last number of months, many companies including Accenture have taken the decision that Ireland is a location where they see potential for growth.”
By Brian Skelly