IBM acquires Octo to help US government with digital defence

The acquisition combines Octo's expertise with IBM's reach to help the US government work well with innovative artificial intelligence and cloud tech

IBM is to acquire Octo, a US-based IT modernisation and digital transformation services provider exclusively serving the US federal government, including defence, health, and civilian agencies. The acquisition creates one of the federal government’s largest digital transformation partners when Octo's 1,500 employees join IBM Consulting's US public and federal market organisation.

As a member of the Octo Metric Joint Venture (JV) with Metric5, Octo was awarded a contract to support the US Army’s Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) Project Management Support Services (PMSS) program earlier this year. Octo will be IBM's eighth acquisition of 2022 and the 25th since Arvind Krishna became CEO of IBM in April 2020, including Dialexa, Neudesic, and Taos.  

Federal government agencies face significant challenges, including technology skills shortages, rebuilding of US domestic supply chains and more demand for citizen services, says IBM, and the convergence of new hybrid cloud and AI technologies enables the government to deliver rapid improvements and adapt to unprecedented challenges.

Agility and resilience required to meet new citizen needs

Octo acquisition will complement IBM's existing strengths in IT modernisation and digital transformation, enhancing its ability to support federal agencies with a flexible, modern approach to digital transformation and growing IBM Consulting's public and federal market organisation to 4,200 highly-skilled employees. With a proven track record of enabling rapid IT modernisation and seamless citizen engagement, Octo also brings deep federal mission experience, as well as certifications in the technologies most used across the federal government.

"Governments require agility and resiliency to meet the evolving needs of citizens directly and in real-time," says John Granger, Senior Vice President of IBM Consulting. "The combination of Octo's highly qualified and respected team with IBM's consulting expertise, technical capabilities and strategic partner ecosystem will enable federal clients to transform faster and better serve citizens."

Building on a shared commitment to co-creation, oLabs, Octo's 14,000 square foot innovation centre with in-house computing capability, expands IBM's ability to work collaboratively with federal agencies to rapidly prototype emerging technology solutions – enabling greater impact for federal agencies and the people they serve.

"Octo was founded on the belief that digital transformation could be delivered at scale to modernise the federal government's approach to today's most pressing challenges – from public healthcare to national security, to defence and intelligence," said Mehul Sanghani, Chief Executive Officer of Octo. "We are excited to join forces with IBM to continue to deliver these digital transformation capabilities with greater reach and scale."

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