Deloitte’s Two Recent Acquisitions Highlight Broader Market Changes

Deloitte recently made two acquisitions that may not make front-page headlines, but for sourcing professionals, they are noteworthy.  In February/March Deloitte announced the acquisition of 1) dcarbon8, a carbon and sustainability consulting company that specializes in supply-chain management and carbon benchmarking and 2) Simulstrat, a company that pioneers “wargaming” and a spinoff from the department of war studies at King’s College in London. The acquisitions are small, but they highlight some interesting trends in the technology marketplace:

  • Before the recession of 2008, high oil prices pushed interest in “going green” to a peak, but the economic recession cooled some of the green fever --  and many “clean tech” companies we track started repositioning themselves more as enablers of cost savings and efficiency.  The acquisition of a sustainability consultancy like dcarbon8 highlights the fact that the interest in green continues – and companies like Deloitte view the green focus as more than a passing fad.  
  • Simulstrat offers sophisticated risk mitigation consulting to companies – all posited at a simulation or “game-like” setting. In this case, Deloitte looked to the capabilities of an academic institution to bring an innovative risk services offering with its private sector clients.  While simulations have traditionally been applied in government settings (e.g., war games) the potential for businesses (who are increasingly interested in risk mediation strategies to deal with macro-economic shifts) is strong. 

 

Finally, these acquisitions are somewhat representative of the type of M&A activity that we see shaping the technology industry after the economic collapse of 2008/9: they are small, relatively low risk acquisitions designed to bring a new innovation or capability to the portfolio of a larger firm.  Gaming and green technology are two hot areas I highlighted in a recent report on “Seven Technologies Your Business Users Will Need You To Source in 2010” and these acquisitions seem to be examples of those trends in action.  

Sourcing professionals -- particularly those with relationships to Deloitte - should note these acquisitions.  Given the trends, there’s a good change the capabilities they add align with the changing needs of your business counterparts.