The state of the global digital space was and continues to be shaped by disruptions. This is because the world continues to face various challenges. So, there have to be innovations and upsets in the natural order of things.
The IT consultancy business is no stranger to these disruptions. There's no comfort zone for IT consultants. They need to adapt to every advancement in digital and data-driven innovations. IT consultancy firms have no other choice than to stay in step with emergent trends.
The events of 2020 have preceded a worldwide recession. Many businesses survived the worst of it by turning to IT consultants to find practical solutions to unique challenges. We expect this trend to rise as we move to even more uncertain times.
Here are six trends that will shape the future of the IT consulting market:
In the past, IT consultancy firms played an advisory role. All they had to do was observe, design solutions and implement them. Then, they would move on to other clients. However, now more than ever, clients are looking to share some of the inherent risks of rapid data and digital transformations. We’ve seen such a collaboration between BP and Microsoft.
This means keeping up with trends if an IT company isn't fully immersed in the client's business operations. A more holistic approach is for consultancy firms to pitch sustainable and long-term models instead of focusing on patches and short-term wins.
In a wider scope, this involves joint ventures and other types of strategic partnerships. It's all about building a long-term relationship with clients that add continued value to the business.
The best aspect of working with a consultant is the wealth of knowledge they bring. This comes from working closely with many clients from a variety of industries. The problem is sometimes their strategies and solutions seem generic. After all, what may work for one client may fail to add the desired value to another client.
Now clients desire custom-made solutions to address their unique challenges. So, it may be best for IT consultants to put themselves in the client’s shoes. Then they can learn what measure can help them adapt to the operational shift in an environment no one could have predicted a few years ago.
This goes hand-in-hand with creating sustainable strategic partnerships between clients and consultancy firms. It calls for understanding the entire industry before applying any model or technology. This is the best way to create lasting working partnerships that fall in line with the client’s specified value chain.
Unlike most trends, this one is unlikely to be a fad. This is because the current shifts in tech will breed more complexities in every industry well in the coming decade. Digitization and data-driven solutions continue to shape the world economy.
So, consultants with a deeper understanding of a niche industry will be in a prime position to enact strategic visions that will empower businesses in that sector.
Data is the new currency that's sparking waves of changes in how companies and even governments provide services. Even as you read this, such organizations are integrating disruptive technologies such as blockchain and AI to improve the way they deliver services.
The paradigm shift for the consultant is to cater to such needs with additional skills such as AI integration or efficient data collation mechanisms. Life will be unnecessarily challenging if an IT consultant fails to ascend such technical verticals.
Data integration into automated processes is arguably at its infancy. Therefore, understanding it and coming up with implementation models has never been as important for IT consultants and their clients. Now, it’s up to consultancy firms to bolster such services and skills. This will pave the way for a future where automation is a regular part of decision-making within organizations.
Aside from attaining a deeper level of industrial introspection, IT consultants may also add value by re-evaluating all their initiatives. In the past, observing trends and scenario planning was all a consultant needed to come up with a workable long-term strategy. But, we are living through turbulent times.
Now a 5-year plan won’t suffice because a technological disruption may change things within a few months. Sometimes, even weeks or days. What does this mean for the consultant? They’ll have to stick around to see the results of their strategy.
In this sense, they can pivot to ensure it’s lined up with emergent and unpredictable disruptions. Consultants may also be able to stay afloat if they can key into the metrics that demonstrate the desired effect of their strategic vision.
Many companies were moving towards permanent remote workforces even before our current reality. This number is predicted to rise to 70 percent of the entire global workforce by 2025. This is not a new phenomenon in the IT consultancy market, so many firms won't struggle to adopt it.
But, consultancy firms will need to set up new frameworks that may do away with face-to-face consultations. This means that most clients will only work with consultancy firms that have the best virtual consulting platforms.
Virtual consulting is also a cornerstone for the way companies will do business in the future. Organizations will do job interviews, recruitment drives, employee training, and other office functions via virtual platforms. This means they may call up an IT consulting firm to help them get it right.
Every enterprise is doing the best it can to rise to the challenges of global economic uncertainty. So, IT consultancy firms will have to play a less advisory role and take a proactive approach to secure businesses.
A good place to start would be creating more adaptable strategies and robust delivery mechanisms. It's not all gloomy as consultants will be central to implementing the virtual platforms that businesses, governments, and even learning institutions need to survive in such a disruptive climate. It's all about finding opportunities wherever challenges arise.