The traditional business consulting and management consulting industry has been human intensive industry. They have always been dependent on the quality of workforce that they hire – be it experienced professionals/ experts or fresh graduates from top b-schools and universities. Throughout the 1900s and the early 2000s many industries saw major disruption; however, it did not have much impact on the consulting, research and analytics industry as the focus of technology development during this time was not on developing cognitive abilities. However, now the focus on developing technologies with cognitive abilities is likely to have an impact on the consulting industry. Moreover, the consulting industry is likely to see changes due to penetration of digital technology, the high competition landscape, increased focus of clients on results and the need to have skill-sets specific resources to get the required return on investment.
To check the trends that are likely to change the traditional business consulting and management consulting industry, keep reading!
Focus on developing cognitive technology
With the recent development of cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, big data analytics, block chains, etc. the machines can think, analyze data and information, and make decisions including the future predictions just like humans do. Hence, there is focus to develop tools and solutions that can help the companies make informed decisions in fraction of time and cost involved. This is likely to reduce the human errors and the cost of hiring the big brand consulting companies that charge high consulting fees on per hour basis or per day basis for their resources employed. Moreover, it may also be helpful for consulting firms as the cost of training and retaining skilled and top b-school/ university talent is high. Hence, slowly but steadily the development of cognitive technology is set to change the consultancy industry.
The entry of technology firms into the consulting space and vice versa
As they technology firms have developed digital and cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of thing, machine learning, big data analytics, block chains, etc. they are tying up with the industry experts to develop the tools to provide data-driven analysis and insights that shall help companies to make informed decisions and also provide them suggestions based on predictive analytics to make decisions keeping in mind the impact on future outcome. On the other hand, consulting companies that have developed in-depth knowledge about various industries over the years are forming in-house technology teams or partnering with technology startups to develop their own tools and solutions to offer the clients.
Focus of clients/ businesses is towards results achieved by the consulting firms
Companies are now focused to hire the consulting firms that have expertise in a particular niche rather than hiring the generalized consulting firms that have a great brand name and charge high for the brand name. In today’s highly competitive environment where companies are looking for cost effective solutions; they are now focused on the results and return on investment from the consulting firms. More and more companies are looking for transparency and result based contracts with consulting firms rather than paying them for the time invested by the resources on per hour or per day basis or high charges for the brand name of the consulting firm.
Change in the hiring process with higher focus on skill-sets
Consulting companies have long focused on hiring fresh graduates from top b-schools or universities, which requires them to offer higher salaries to attract talent. However, now the focus is changing towards hiring graduates from across the universities or b-schools with more focus on the skill-sets rather than the name of the university from where they are hiring. Consulting firms look forward to hire the graduates from various college competitions such as case studies or technology hacks, where their skill-sets are tested for a specific job role. Moreover, there are several third-party firms and tools that offer the consulting firms with proper skill mapping, competency and capability of the candidates before they hire them.
Entry of several crowd sourcing platforms in the market
Businesses are no longer only dependent on great brands or references for hiring a consultant. Digitalization has enabled the entry of several crowd sourcing platforms in the market. This has increased the competition in consulting industry as these platforms have increased the reach of freelancers, independent consultants and smaller consultancy firms that can now cater to the market that they could not cater earlier.
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