Digitization forces all industries to change. To ensure their future viability, companies must rethink business models, customer relationships, products and services. Recently, this change has been generating high revenues for consulting companies that accompany their customers in their digital transformation processes. In addition, many consulting firms have built up (technological) competencies through acquisitions and cooperations in order to provide customers with the necessary skills for these transformation projects.
But what about the digitization of the consulting industry itself? In the past, the consulting industry has not always been known being a pioneer in changing its own business models, but it is increasingly adapting to the new needs of its customers and therefore heavily investing in the digitization of its own processes and offerings. The integration of technology and software to support personnel intensive consulting processes offers various advantages for both customers and consulting companies:
- By using intelligent digital solutions, customers can take on more responsibility, work more independently and thus also carry out projects more efficiently and cost-effectively
- With the help of digital tools, expensive spend on consulting resources can be reduced and costs can be saved
- Consulting companies offer digitally supported offerings, services and products to create new consulting experiences and added value for customers, develop innovative revenue models, automate consulting processes and optimize internal costs per consulting project and resources.
The areas in which the potentials of the new media and digitally supported processes for consulting companies have so far mainly come to bear are:
- Data analysis (analytics, data mining)
- Data and knowledge sharing on client portals
- Support of consulting delivery processes with digital tools (e.g. process mining, collaboration, methodologies)
- Client communications, project management, and performance management (project controlling)
- Digital consulting delivery (online coaching, chats)
- Digital access to consultants and experts for clients.
The transformation of the consulting industry due to the new possibilities of digitalization is to be welcomed in many respects. On the one hand, digitization makes the consulting landscape more creative and diverse. On the other hand, digitization is contributing to the change in business models and consulting services, to the benefit of those clients who are looking for more personal responsibility, who do not want to outsource routine work to consultants or do not need permanent presence of consultants, but rather selective support in the form of expert assistance and impulses for change, and who are looking for shorter, more efficient projects with strong involvement of their own employees.
Both clients and consultants have recognized the advantages of the new media and technologies. The consulting industry would therefore do well to “technologically upgrade” and follow the example of the major providers, who are already making considerable investments in the automation of consulting processes, analytics and artificial intelligence.
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