The Changing Face Of IT Consulting In 2017
Technology is arguably the most universal aspect of our lives, engraining itself on both a personal and professional level. As a result, IT consulting can seem like it is struggling to differentiate itself in a world where so many people are already educated and competent on the subject.
What we are seeing though is not the demise of an industry but rather the evolution of one. IT consulting is quickly transforming into business consulting, ensuring not just the survival but the success of the industry.
IT consulting is no longer solely about infrastructure and technical support, instead there is a real focus on what is going to achieve business growth.
In fact, according to an IBM Institute for Business Value survey of CIOs, “many of the infrastructure decisions the IT department makes are no longer purely technological; they’re core components of an organisation’s business strategy – essential elements in the scramble for market advantage”.
Requirements of new skills
As a direct result of this industry shift, the skills required in IT consulting have changed. Straight IT skills are no longer enough, rather it is about combining IT specialisms with business acumen.
This is where the industry has experienced a hiccup with that combination of skills being hard to come by, even on a global scale. For the most part the issue lies in the fact that the younger generation who have a strong grasp on the digital world don’t have the business experience while those with the business experience are not as fluent in the digital world.
This is a real challenge for the industry and unless a solution is found it will hinder further industry development and evolution.
Another challenge IT consulting firms must face is that many companies are taking IT back in-house – using cloud based technology and utilising freelancers. Additionally, when it comes to the likes of big data analytics, increasingly technology is able to do the same job as a highly-paid consultant.
Therefore, it is essential IT consulting firms are able to demonstrate their value. There are many ways to do this but initially the focus should be on charging for output rather than hours and exploring partnerships with other firms to enhance and extend service offerings.
Want to learn more?
This is just an outline of the challenges the IT industry is set to face this year. For more information, download our 2017 IT Consulting Industry Snapshot.