Over the past year, there has been a sudden increase in the popularity of the term “digital transformation”. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between digital transformation and a company’s ability to survive in this evolving market with changing customer expectations. A quick search on Google Trends reveals just how popular digital transformation has been over the past few months, reaching peak popularity this month.
State of Consulting:Digital Transformation
Over the last two months, we have been hard at work trying to understand this relationship better in the consulting industry so that we can provide the most relevant insight for your own transformation. Today, we are proud to present to you our first-ever ‘State of the Consulting Industry’ report where we have compiled inputs from more than ninety industry leaders working in a variety of consulting roles.
The survey, administered between July 2016 and August 2016 focused on the impact of digital transformation in the consulting industry. The objective behind this research is aimed at helping consultants assess their performance and benchmark against peers.
Here are just a few insights we’ve uncovered:
Client and Market Digitization
Despite respondents agreeing that differentiation is a key factor to win new business, most of them are making only surface-level changes in response to digital trends. The largest changes being made are related to value proposition and positioning, not transformative elements like, technology, processes, and people.
40 percent of the participants mentioned that their firms are using multiple systems to store data and a surprisingly large percentage, nearly 30 percent, of client data is still being stored in excel spreadsheets. This data point suggests that important information may be a data security risk or unnecessarily siloed between related teams.
Impact of Digital Transformation
82 percent of respondents rated at least an 8 on a 10-point scale, indicating they believe digital transformation will have an extreme or nearly extreme impact on the business environment in the coming few years.
Consulting Process Digitization
The three largest challenges to taking consulting processes digital were lack of technology or IT systems, senior management buy-in and quality data.
68% of the respondents cited that they spend more than 11 hours on data aggregation in preparation for client meetings.
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Consultants agree that digital transformation will have a significant impact on the business environment but acknowledge they have a long way to go in their own digital journeys. The changes consultants are making are surface-level, indicating that they may be overlooking crucial factors like leadership and culture needed to drive true digital change.