While many industries have already experienced the change associated with Digital Disruption, the consulting industry is still struggling to find its pace. By 2018, IDC predicts one third of the top 20 in every industry will be disrupted by digitally transformed competitors. Now, you definitely don’t want to be the one to get taken over by competition, you’d rather be the company that takes over. How will consulting disruption affect you?
Before we dive into the why’s and how’s of Digital Disruption. Let’s understand this – Digital Disruption is a certainty. It could be perceived as a threat to some businesses that view it that way, but for most, it is a rich land of opportunity to drive agility and efficiency through their day to day operations.
Changing customer expectations and increasing demands are pushing consulting firms to include digital tools to supplement the work that they accomplish manually. But, merely incorporating digital tools in certain parts of the organization’s processes is not enough. Instead, consultancies should rethink their entire workflow and make it digitally transformative to ensure that client remains at the center, and remains happy.
But, who exactly is this ‘Digital Customer’ of today?
For starters, they are far more advanced than in years past because digital capabilities have given them more control over the experiences they have with organizations. Whereas previously a business would dictate the parameters of the customer experience – how and when the customer would be involved in the production and buying process, etc. – digital processes have handed those reins over to the customer. According to a study by Accenture, this change in customer control affects the entire organization:“Attracting, winning, and retaining customers requires a concerted effort across the entire organization, with profitability, ROI, and customer satisfaction as key measurements of their progress.”
Consulting Disruption – Why Firms Are Not Immune to it
Consulting has traditionally relied upon human capital to assess business problems and manual processes to manage data and implement changes. Many firms have not readily adopted digital capabilities until clients have made it clear that they are looking for new options.
Clients are no longer willing to pay for long periods of discovery instead they want value faster, sometimes even on day one, and they like more accountability in the outcome of consulting engagements. In order to meet the expectations of digital customers, consultants are forced to rethink their processes so that they are speeding time to value, building their differentiation and thought leadership and increasing the stickiness in their relationships all while protecting operating margins. In a recent blog post, we listed 12 clear benefits of Digital Consulting – from establishing new revenue streams to data management to collaboration. Digital capabilities transform every part of the consulting workflow.
Survival of the Fittest in a New Digital World
The new digital economy is pushing boundaries and redefining customer expectations. Today, your clients need consulting services that embrace digital technologies while creating value through all segments of the business. A recent study by Gartner that surveyed 400 business leaders, found that eighty-four percent of the CEOs expect digital change to bring higher profit margins.
Here’s a graph by McKinsey & Company that explains why incumbents need not be victims of disruption if they recognize the crucial thresholds in their life cycle, and act in time. Read more about this here.
To help you navigate through the change that Digital Disruption is bringing to the consulting industry, we have put together an easy guide – ‘The Digitization of Consulting:Practice What You Consult’. In this guide, you will learn:
- What digitization really means and why consulting is no exception
- What “going digital” entails for consultants
- 5 specific ways consultants can begin digitizing their firms
- How a top-tier is strategically positioned for consulting disruption
Click here to download the guide.
Consulting Disruption Premonition
As CEOs shift their focus towards improving workforce productivity and become digital in their approach, consultancies have an excellent opportunity to reinforce their positions as strategic digital consultants ready to meet those challenges.
For now, we’ll leave you with this quote to ponder consulting disruption.
“If you are currently on the leadership team of a consultancy and you’re inclined to be sanguine about disruption, ask yourself:Is your firm changing (at least) as rapidly as your most demanding clients?”
– Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor & Disruption Innovation Expert