McKinsey acquires cloud consultancy Candid Partners

20 January 2021 3 min. read

Strategy firm McKinsey & Company has acquired Candid Partners, an Atlanta-based provider of cloud consulting services to large organizations.

McKinsey infrequently makes acquisitions, preferring to expand organically. The New York-based strategy firm’s sole 2020 acquisition was Orpheus, a German provider of spend-analytics technology and digital procurement solutions. In 2019, the firm bought Westney Consulting, a boutique, Houston-based capital projects consulting firm serving the energy, power, chemical, and mining industries. In 2018, McKinsey didn’t buy anything.

The Big Three consulting firm, however, has already made its first acquisition of 2021.

McKinsey was adequately impressed by the consultants at Candid Partners after the two firms worked together on a major cloud transformation project for a mutual client.

McKinsey acquires cloud consultancy Candid Partners

“We were immediately struck by the impressive depth and collaborative approach of the people we met at Candid Partners – and their track record of both solving complex technical challenges and delivering cloud programs for some of the world’s largest organizations,” said Steve Van Kuiken, a senior partner and global leader of McKinsey Technology.

McKinsey will now add more than 100 senior engineers, developers, architects, and agile coaches from Candid. The average technical person at the firm has 20 years of experience, and many have previously worked at consultancies such as Accenture, Deloitte, and EY.

Founded in 2013, the Atlanta-based firm has completed 250 cloud engagements, with Fortune 500s representing 95% of their consulting work. The AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Partner delivers services in cloud app development and modernization, cloud strategy and migration, and DevOps strategy and automation.

“With Candid Partners’ people and knowledge, we will scale our technical capabilities and accelerate the rate at which we can help our clients achieve tangible business value from cloud adoption,” said Liz Hilton Segel, managing partner for North America.

McKinsey and Candid will together help clients with end-to-end cloud transformation, from strategy, business-case development, and road mapping through to architecture design, app migration, and workload optimization.

“What our people value most is the opportunity to work on the most challenging technology projects out there – McKinsey can help our team realize this,” said Merrick Olives, who co-founded Candid with John Peak.

The cloud consulting market is hot enough for even McKinsey to make a strategic acquisition in the area. Companies are increasingly turning to cloud because of its advantages in speed, flexibility, resilience, and scalability. These benefits have become particularly important as the pandemic has forced many companies to shift to remote work and collaboration.

The big IT consultancies have responded with additional investments in the area. Accenture in September allotted $3 billion to its new “Cloud First” division over the next three years. Cognizant, meanwhile, has made 12 acquisitions since January 2020, with many focused on cloud specialists.