It’s Time to Build an Agile Consulting Business

February 18, 2021

With 2021 underway, the business climate is a compelling mix of optimism and curiosity. Savvy consulting professionals know that now, more than ever, being agile and adaptable in an especially tumultuous economy isn’t simply important: it’s imperative. Companies who embrace agility and flexibility generally see improved project delivery speed and increased customer satisfaction by constantly benchmarking and adapting to customer feedback. A sneak peak of the 2021 SPI Professional Services Benchmark Report reveals, that way of thinking is proving to be gospel.

The Difference Between Impulsive and Intelligent

The 2021 SPI Report confirms that the negative impact of last year’s market shift was felt with much more force by firms without an agile business mindset. Organizations unwilling and/or unable to adapt are facing a longer road to recovery; those that took time to invest in themselves and read and react to the market, however, were able to hold steady -- and in some cases grow. The report, details actionable insights for the year ahead that an agile firm can assess, apply, and ultimately profit from, including:

1. A Hybrid Delivery Model Is Needed. On-site Service Delivery declined to 40.8% in 2020. The pandemic upended expectations of what work can be done outside of an office. The notion that employees must live and report daily to an office is off the table. 2020 proved to clients and employers alike that both project quality and resource productivity are enhanced by virtual service delivery. However, the switch to virtual service delivery was far less dramatic than anticipated. With uncertainty around Covid still swirling, companies who are setup to quickly pivot in either direction will be best setup for success in 2021.

2. Profitability Improves Most for Firms Driven by Technology. Despite slower revenue growth, profit improved most for embedded professional services within enterprise software companies. These organizations make the best use of integrated business applications, enabling them to visualize all aspects of operations and make necessary course corrections when sales stall. Their move to productize and automate their PS solutions portfolio make it much easier to sell and deliver services with prescribed business outcomes.

SPI Consulting 2021 Net Profit

The importance of flexibility with “mobile” anywhere, anytime access to systems and employees will be mandatory. In 2020 we saw a tech exodus from expensive urban centers like Silicon Valley fueled by the ability to work remotely from anywhere.

3. Subscription Billing & Managed Services Options Are Required. Subscription-based and managed service contracts are gaining momentum. According to SPI 2021, almost 20% of PS sector revenue came from these recurring revenue models. Consulting and Professional Services organizations must continue to package and productizing their services, making them easier to sell and buy. The key to future success is being able to move quickly to multi-element contracts and usage-based pricing without losing your shirt.

And Speaking of Success Through Benchmarking . . .

As noted above, the 2021 SPI Professional Services Maturity Benchmark Report is now out, and definitely worth a deep dive. Please join our upcoming Webinar with David Hofferberth, managing director at Service Performance Insight (SPI), and Natasha Engan, senior vice president of global consulting here at Deltek. They will take a close look at data revealing what companies of every stripe have been through in the past year, and discuss what’s in store for the year ahead.


2021 SPI Reveal: Building an Agile Consulting Business Structure

Watch the Webinar Now 

View On-Demand