Consultancies are increasingly focused on helping their clients meet the challenges of digital transformation but they are increasingly having to change the way they do this – by becoming more outcomes oriented, delivering the same level of work with fewer consultants and leveraging the power of digital solutions.
In this video, David Miller - Founder and Chairman of Changefirst – looks at the challenges posed for them by Change Management and digital transformation outlines how they can effectively deliver on this by:
- Automating and scaling project delivery
- Enabling client self-service where they can
- Making greater use of on-demand training to fill skill gaps
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For consulting firms, I think the big trends obviously come from their clients. And their clients are engaged in a lot of digital transformation and increasingly AI work. And I think this has three implications or it's becoming three implications for the firms. One is that they are becoming more outcomes orientated. I think to a certain degree, they were always outcomes oriented, but there was also quite a lot of activity being measured, and their clients now want results and they want those results quite quickly.
The second thing I think is happening is the consulting workforce is changing. Clients want more experienced consultants and they want fewer of them. And of course these consultants are in demand across the consulting industry.
The third implication is around digital, and clients more and more seem to want digital solutions and I'll come back to that, but those digital solutions to support experienced consultants. And of course the aim of that is to decrease client costs and increased consulting productivity.
The trends we identified are really for the smaller mid-sized consulting firms, but they're also very similar for the firms trying to break into that top tier of five or six global companies. I think there're two to focus on. One is that expertise is becoming digitized. In other words, whatever consulting firms know is being put online and is accessible by everybody in the firm and increasingly accessible by their clients. So this is impacting how work is sold, priced and delivered. But also has implications for consulting firms internally about their own productivity and the consistency of work they're delivering to clients.
The second implication comes out of the first one really, and that is that the top tier, these global top tier firms, are investing millions of dollars in digital platforms. And clients seem to like this in proposals. The feedback we get is that this is very attractive to clients when they accept proposals. But of course that's making it much tougher for these smaller mid-size firms and the firms trying to break into the global top tier to compete with the big companies.
I'm not saying it's very new here, but it's becoming clear that consulting firms need to go through their own digital transformation and not be the shoemaker's children. What we would see is an environment where there are fewer high quality consultants supported by effective digital solutions. Examples might be automating project delivery, client's self-service, on demand training to fill skill gaps.
Interestingly, I was talking to one of our consulting clients recently and they were making a point that our transformation platform enables them to digitize both their expertise and their execution. And what they meant by that was it enables their consultants to learn critical transformation techniques and implement them really effectively. Techniques like leadership, vision and getting engagement. On top of all this content, the platform has some great software in it which allows consulting firms and their clients to build, execute, and track plans really effectively and to collaborate on all these activities and outputs both within their firms and with their clients.