Why Consulting Firms Should Digitalise In 2016

Posted by Jamie Gilbert, Business Director on January 20, 2016


Consultants are used to staying one step ahead of the game - it's what they do best. And when it comes to understanding how technology can fuel growth, they are often way out in front.

Yet it's surprising to learn that as many as 80% of consulting firms are not using an industry-specific and integrated project management system to manage their own core business processes.

With the uptake of technology having a direct link to a firm's productivity, this statistic is alarming.

But what do consulting firms have to gain from a sound digital strategy?

Here are three areas for consideration.

1. Pinpoint profitable business

Sure, times have been good for consultants. Demand for services are on the up.

Yet, being popular brings its own set of challenges.

Converting new business can be costly - even if the customer comes knocking at your door. It will help to refer to your business's data to pick and choose the type of work that is more likely to turn a profit. This will help avoid spending time on those troublesome ventures where you merely break even - or make a loss.

2. Attract the right talent

"Finding the right people in traditional consulting is challenging enough at the moment. Finding digital talent and the capabilities needed for asset-based solutions brings its own challenges." These are the words of a global technology consultant, which will no doubt resonate with many.

As a people-based firm, you are only as good as the people you hire. When you get the talent you need on board, you'll want to hold onto it.

Studies show that staying connected with colleagues is a driver for workforce morale. Using collaboration platforms can help unite teams, stimulate innovation and even eek out resourcing issues before they get out of hand. This will help you keep hold of the people you have for longer.  

3. Leverage more margin

Ninety two percent of MCA member firms reported they had met or exceeded their fee income expectations in  2014. In around half of the cases the increase was marked. But is income being translated into profit at the end of the day?

A centralised technological platform will help you manage your finances  and control your project costs. By generating increasingly accurate forecasts of where and how to spend money it will guide you to make more informed, profitable decisions that will bolster your bottom line.

With technology driving the recovery of the global economy, there'll be no getting away from the fact that reviewing digital processes will become a priority in the lives of your clients' this year.

Find out more about the trends and challenges in the Consulting industry and how to make 2016 your firm's year for growth in our Consulting Industry Snapshot 2016.