Accenture’s agreement to acquire Clarity Insights, an AI consulting and data science firm based in Chicago, will add personnel and IP at a time when customers are struggling to scale AI deployments.
An Accenture study published in November revealed the criticality of AI to large enterprises. The company said 76% of 1,500 C-level executives surveyed grapple with scaling AI beyond proof-of-concept projects. A similar percentage of respondents said they “risk going out of business” in the next five years if they are unable to scale the technology, according to Accenture. The survey polled executives in organizations with at least $1 billion in revenue.
Against that backdrop, the pending Clarity Insights deal would provide 350 employees and a number of “accelerators,” which Accenture said help organizations speed up the task of generating value from their data. Those resources will reside in Accenture’s Applied Intelligence business.
Clarity Insights’ data scientists and machine learning engineers will bolster Accenture’s North American AI consulting workforce. The companies’ pursuit of accelerators is another area of convergence.
“We also share the same view that, to be competitive, you need to invest in industry-specific accelerators,” said John Matchette, managing director, North America lead, Accenture Applied Intelligence.
He said Accenture already has a portfolio of accelerators, noting that Clarity Insights’ focus on industries such as healthcare and financial services will provide additional assets and expertise.
Accenture isn’t alone among consultancies in pursuing AI deals. In September, InterVision, an IT service provider, acquired AI consulting and analytics firm SeyVu. Expect more transactions to follow in 2020 as service providers gear up to help their clients push beyond AI pilots.