Management Consulting Digital Future
For a long time, management consulting firms did not specialise in any industry. They were hired and learnt the industry on the job. However, times are changing, and now they have to specialise to meet their clients’ needs.
The fact that the management consulting industry is client-driven, client needs cannot be ignored. To remain relevant and efficient, management consulting firms have to change. This change has been the most profound where the big consultancies need to be able to deal with projects in digital and computing technology. Brian Vector, BCG Gamma and McKinsey Digital Consulting groups have all been spun off by the MBB firms explicitly to meet this market demand.
We all agree change is inevitable, but what is the future of management consulting? And what happens if firms fail to bow to the changes? Will they still thrive?
Technology continues to advance at a fast rate in all industries. With these advancements and changes come new business models including freemium models, data-driven revenue-based models and global market places.
If a management consulting firm wishes to remain relevant and continue offering value to its clients, it should seek to have in-depth knowledge of these models and new business strategies.
Part of gaining in-depth knowledge in new subject matters involves learning from past mistakes, correcting them and streamlining themselves to keep up with the fast-paced tech upgrades.
Your network is your net worth. This rings true for individuals and businesses as well. Therefore, aside from adapting to technological changes, management consulting firms need to create large networks of academic and industry experts to help in service delivery.
Building these solid relationships with other professionals outside the consulting industry improves a firm’s ability to deliver useful advice. Think of this approach as working smart as opposed to working hard. With this approach, you will always be in the know and up to date with tech developments and industry changes. You will know strategies that work and those that no longer work.
More and more businesses realize that embracing technology is pertinent to surviving in the new business world. Companies like Airbnb, Uber, Netflix and Spotify have disrupted the industry courtesy of their digital mindset. A key component to the technology these companies embrace is artificial intelligence.
While some businesses struggle to embrace AI citing compliance issues, those that take the bull by the horns are reaping big. The same is true for management consulting firms that make a conscious decision to fight with fire.
With machine learning and AI, management consulting firms enhance their services to clients and validate their recommendations. Providing a forecast is great, offering predictive analysis which helps you understand the relationships between variables is even better.
Hiring Specific Talent
A couple of decades ago, the management consulting industry thrived with generalists. Anyone with an impressive and enviable resume could fill a spot in a consulting firm and take on generalist projects. But with technological advances, all this has changed.
A candidate with an undergraduate degree in engineering from a top institution cannot pick up specific skills like programming to complete a project successfully.
To keep up with the industry, firms recruit staff with technical expertise and with backgrounds in specific fields. The expertise might be gained from direct experience in the industry, intense research or academic background in a specific field.
To clear the air, no, MBAs aren’t as relevant as they once were since many students don’t learn how to conduct complex data analysis or run cutting edge software.
What this means is that if you are strong in programming or have computer science training, you are a strong candidate for lucrative positions in management consulting firms. No, it doesn’t matter if you have an economics or a business background.
Gone are the days when management consulting firms could work in the shadows and still meet client deliverables. Today, they need to be transparent as they engage client employees and strive to find a place for themselves in the client’s company culture.
To be effective, consulting firms should work with employees as opposed to sidelining them. Unfortunately, being open is not always an easy or natural task. But it is a challenge that needs to be addressed to notice gains in their efforts.
Aside from technology, consulting firms have to be up to date in different sectors, including defence and healthcare consulting. Why? Well, with the rising cost of health care, the difficulty of finding quality healthcare services and heightened tension in many parts of the world, consultants need to devise new and creative ways of dealing with these problems.
Some management consulting firms have turned to digital health care to solve the problem at hand. This move has seen them effect massive change in their lives.
No one wants to pay for something they don’t see value in. This goes for businesses as well; therefore, consulting firms charge less on billable hours and more depending on the value they offer clients.
But regardless of the payment model they choose, the priority of consulting firms should be to see their client succeed. Failure to focus on success will result in bad social media reviews which can, in turn, cripple the firm’s ability to reel in new clients.
All these management consulting firm changes are brought on by digital advancements. There are more changes that firms need to embrace today and others in the future. And while it may not be easy, they should take up the challenge head-on with a positive mindset and conquer. Firms should give digitalization the priority and think like tech companies to survive. Technologies like AI, machine learning and automation will help in improving efficiencies and reeling in more consumers.
Aside from this, consulting firms should embrace technology in their search for industry-specific talent, experience and expertise. Lastly, forming partnerships between consulting firms will help improve service delivery and map out an even brighter future for the management consulting industry.
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