future of consulting

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The consulting industry has, over the past few decades, been at the forefront of helping firms navigate their major enterprise transformation initiatives. The industry has specialized in helping clients navigate these changes through an optimal combination of proprietary infrastructure, IP, tools and a team of trained consultants with in-house consulting methodologies.

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However, the rapid advancement of next-gen technologies over the past few years and the increased adoption of the same by clients for organization improvement initiatives have made many of the hitherto traditional consulting services redundant, as the industry itself is now on the verge of disruption. finds in agony and needs to innovate and change to stay relevant!

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Given the above context, we highlight the top 5 trends we think will shape the consulting industry over the next decade and which the industry would be best to pay attention to

Execution over strategy – While strategy will continue to be important, clients will increasingly prefer consulting firms that can negotiate and take strategy through to execution and deliver the results for the fees they charge.

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For example, according to Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory, the share of classic strategy work has been steadily declining and now stands at about 20%, down from 60% to 70% 30 years ago. Strategy consulting firms have recognized this threat and have taken several steps towards execution aspects through acquisitions, partnerships or building digital platforms.

Technology will be at the core of any consulting – Technology will be at the core of almost every type of consulting. Business leaders have historically always delegated technology and IT enablement to experts. As a result, technology is rarely a part of C-suite board room strategy discussions. Now this will not happen. With new emerging technologies and business models, clients will increasingly want to know the ‘how’ part of strategy from all consulting firms and expect consulting firms to be able to deliver desired business results through an optimal combination of the following: Will take the game forward. -Gen technologies – automation, AI, big data, digital and cloud to deliver outcomes such as user experience, employee experience, productivity, process improvement, agility, etc. Skin in sports will become more of a norm than a differentiator. Clients will expect consulting firms to be accountable for the fees paid and to add a portion of their fees to the results achieved. While it is currently already being used as a differentiator by some firms, it will become a de facto model of operations in the future. Expert partners, each of whom brings a unique capability to the table in which they excel. As more specialist boutique firms emerge, the era of a single monolithic setup with one consultancy handling all aspects will be a thing of the past. Clients now recognize that many specialist and boutique firms can take advantage of the latest technologies to deliver the desired results at a fraction of the cost. Traditional firms will have to partner with these specialist firms while owning the overall change responsibility. With multi-vendor scenarios already increasing its play in significant changes, working from anywhere would be ideal; Hybrid – While the pandemic has already accelerated and established the hybrid model of working, it will take a step forward towards the ‘work from anywhere’ option. As long as they get the right talent at the right price, clients will be less concerned about where that talent is located. As a result, location flexibility will become a key decision influencer for advisors as they choose a firm. Companies that offer maximum flexibility will be able to attract the best talent.

As these trends consolidate and become mainstream over the next few years, consulting firms would do well to adapt to them sooner rather than later to avoid transitioning from people helping clients disrupting their own Could

Ravi Nagarajan is a partner with Infosys Consulting and is actively engaged with several key clients across sectors in their transformation initiatives.



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