How To Make Your Consulting Firm More Outcome Focused

Posted by Chris Duddridge on March 3, 2017

Consulting industry trends

In today’s consulting industry, firms are facing growing demand from clients for greater value, as well as increased competition from new, more agile organisations that are disrupting the status quo.

In turn, this has placed more pressure on consulting firms to maximise profitability and revitalise business models.

Technology has played a large part in these new business models – now seen as more of an enabler of revenue, rather than a simple support function. It is also enabling strategic behaviour by driving industry specific best practices.

For firms looking to become more outcome focused and strategic, here are three key points to focus on.

1. Deliver more for less

With great pressure on IT budgets, it’s important that internal business solutions such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Professional Services Automation (PSA) improve efficiencies without increasing operating costs.

A fit-for-purpose solution designed for your business, now and in the future, should support an increasingly mobile workforce – enabling them to be more responsive to client needs.

It’s also important the technology solution provides real-time insight and visibility into the business to support the decision-making process while requiring minimal admin support. This allows the firm and each of your people to focus on more profitable activities.

As a result, consulting firms are prioritising a number of key deliverables from their investments in technologies such as ERP and PSA, including:

  • The ability to easily adopt industry-specific best practice
  • Secure, on-demand access to essential applications
  • Support for consultants in multiple locations across large geographies
  • Ease of use and ownership, and minimal maintenance
  • Freeing-up infrastructure to focus on business-critical functions
  • Automating processes

2. Changes to working practice

The latest technology means that consulting firms can be more agile, responsive and better informed, not to mention that teams can better collaborate and staff are able to work from the location that best suits them – all while still having secure access to essential resources.

In today’s world where flexible working is becoming paramount, the most successful consulting firms are quickly realising the benefits of enabling their most talented employees to work in ways that suit them. This allows them to become more strategic and worked in an outcomes focused manner.

Additionally, consulting firms who enable and support flexible working with effective technology solutions will find they become more attractive employers for both their existing staff and those on the hunt for a new challenge. This can then directly help cut down on employee burn-out and improves retention rates.

3. The cloud is a real game changer

A growing number of consulting firms are beginning to reap the rewards from investing in a cloud based solution. Not only can the platform be accessed anytime, anywhere and off any device, but the costs and hassle related to on-premise servers or the complexity associated with virtual terminals are removed.

Because cloud technologies improve access to information, encourages collaboration, and improves agility and responsiveness it also directly impacts productivity levels, raising them exponentially and driving profit levels.

Implementing an integrated project-based ERP or PSA solution that streamlines internal processes and drives industry-specific best practices enables consulting firms to become a strategic asset to clients.

The firm that understands this, and has the best handle on its technology and the benefits it can provide, will be the firm that succeeds.

Learn more about consulting industry trends

Want to learn more about the trends affecting the consulting industry? Download Deltek’s 2017 Management Consulting Industry Snapshot