CGI outlines its ambitions for Northern Ireland base

CGI, the global IT and business consulting services firm, has further outlined its plans for establishing a base in Northern Ireland at a recent stakeholder event held in the Observatory of the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast.

The Canadian company, founded in 1976, has recently invested in a Centre of Digital Excellence in Belfast, with plans to create 50 new jobs. These are the first Northern Ireland based roles for the company, adding to its existing UK workforce of almost 6,000 professionals and over 90,000 worldwide.

CGI delivers transformative digital services to empower organisations and enhance the lives of citizens. They develop and implement bespoke IT systems for leading organisations such as HSBC and the BBC, and provide innovative digital solutions for many government departments, agencies and councils across the UK.

Speaking at the event, Senior Vice President and Business Unit Leader for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Lindsay McGranaghan shared details on the company’s expansion plans in Northern Ireland: “We are excited to share more details about our ambitions for Northern Ireland, where we will continue to develop great local talent to help deliver world-class IT capabilities and solutions to meet the evolving digital needs of both local and global customers.

Michelle Sherrard, Director, Northern Ireland.

“This will focus initially on the public sector and CGI global customers, who already operate in Northern Ireland, who can benefit from our global expertise and innovation. With core capabilities and credentials in areas like justice, land management, critical national infrastructure, health and local council services, we are looking forward to bringing that experience and expertise to bear in Northern Ireland.”

Welcoming this ambition Jeremy Fitch, Executive Director, Invest NI said: “With Belfast’s fast-growing reputation as a tech-hub, the CGI Centre of Digital Excellence will be able to benefit from the talent-pool of skilled graduates from Queen’s University and Ulster University. We want to highlight what Northern Ireland offers and the primary thing that has attracted CGI here is the quality of the talent.”

Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive, Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce, who attended the event, also sees CGI’s arrival as a vote of confidence in Northern Ireland: “Belfast Chamber are delighted to see CGI expand their presence, bringing an initial 50 new jobs. It really showcases just how thriving a tech city like Belfast is; how our excellent, highly skilled workforce is attracting companies from Canada to come here to dip into that talent pool; to grow their business and to expand their premises.”

A significant differentiator for CGI is that employees are also ‘members’ of the company and most staff are shareholders. McGranaghan explains how this benefits colleagues and clients: “With staff also shareholders of CGI, it gives employees the incentive to make decisions in the best interests of clients while driving their own careers. We also operate a metro-based model of working meaning that our members live where they work, delivering projects that benefit local citizens while actively supporting their local communities.”

Chris Shorthouse, Vice President for Client Engagement.

As an illustration of that commitment to the local community Lisa McIlvenna, Deputy Managing Director at Business in the Community (BITC) spoke at the event and highlighted the good work already being done: “CGI has already built a relationship with BITC, to make sure that from the get go they’re tapping into the right communities, in the right way that makes sense for them as a business but also makes sense for the community. It’s only when you get into the communities here that you really understand some of the challenges they face, but also the skills and strengths that they can bring, to offer to business. We look forward to working with CGI to fulfil that potential for them and for communities across Northern Ireland.”

Responding to the arrival of a new Canadian investor in Northern Ireland Ken Brundle, Canadian Honorary Consul for Northern Ireland added: “CGI are very highly rated for their employability and the nature of their work really suits Northern Ireland. We know and understand that to be successful internationally you’ve got to have an international footprint and CGI coming to Belfast is wonderful for us. We have over 7,000 Canadians living in Northern Ireland, plus another two to three thousand permanent residents; our links go back many years. We have two excellent universities here and the match between them and CGI is going to bear fruit for both parties.”

Lindsay McGranaghan, Senior Vice President addresses the room.

McGranaghan agrees and suggests that this is already paving the way for further job creation: “We are very pleased with the response to our arrival in Northern Ireland and are excited about several early prospects in the pipeline to deliver some interesting and innovative projects. This, alongside our ambition to work with local universities, the wider research community and technology startups to bring forward exciting innovation and IP, gives us confidence that we can grow our presence here even further. While doing so, we will be focused on delivering social value outcomes locally. We are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead to showcase Northern Ireland’s talent, innovation and entrepreneurship to the wider CGI client base around the world.”


CGI Belfast stakeholder event

For further information on CGI’s work in Northern Ireland visit

Show More
Back to top button