Do you know there are over 7 lakh consulting firms across the world? This should not come as a surprise considering the number of businesses that get off the ground every year. Because these businesses depend on various types of consulting services-strategy, operations, IT, and HR-there has been a concomitant increase in the number of consulting firms.
As is true of almost every other industry, consulting has witnessed a lot of changes in recent years, partly owing to disruption in the IT world. Firms operating in the consulting space need to stay abreast of these shifts in order to remain viable. Let’s have a look at some of the key trends that’re shaping the business consulting industry.
1) Increased Focus on Technological Integration
Go back a decade or so and you will recall how technology only supplemented the consulting operations. These days, however, technology has become integral to the functioning of any consulting business. As new technologies become mainstream, new business models spawn, and new laws come into effect.
It goes without saying that business consulting firms in India need to remain up-to-date with the latest in technology in order to keep pace with this advancement.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It has been observed that many business consulting companies don’t make efforts to market their services online. Given the sea of opportunities the internet has opened up, SEO is arguably the best way to gain visibility in the digital world.
What’s important to remember is that SEO goes beyond learning the rules of SEO and incorporating them. We all know Google uses a complex algorithm to index and rank its pages. This algorithm undergoes continual change, so companies need to stay aware of the updates happening in this space.
Data analytics is growing like no other field. Companies are leveraging powerful analytical solutions to collate, process and analyze data and unravel eye-opening trends, patterns, and correlations. This way, they can make sense of what’s happening around them and carry out predictions with high accuracy. As a result, they don’t miss out on any new developments in their niche.
Small-and-medium-sized companies have become vulnerable to online threats, thanks to the rising incidence of cyberattacks in the last couple of years.
In light of these developments, consulting firms in India are required to perform regular security audits in order to ward off potential vulnerabilities. They also need to have in place a crisis management plan to deal with breaches as and when they take place. As cybercriminals continually work on breaking through the existing security systems, companies need to stay acquainted the latest cybersecurity measures and challenges.
Consulting firms also need to keep in touch with the latest legislative regulations corresponding to these technologies. This will equip them with the know-how needed to tackle any legal challenges in this space.
2) Performance-based Billing Models
Years back, consulting firms would charge a flat rate for their services, regardless of the results delivered. As companies have developed the capability to analyze every penny spent on their vendors, they are increasingly studying the expenses incurred on business consulting services and calculating their return on investment (RoI).
In line with these trends, consulting companies have begun to offer performance-based billing. This prevents their clients from paying exorbitantly high fees for any service. This also sets a benchmark for a company to come up with a tailored solution each time and not offer the same blueprint to all its clients.
3) Crowdsourcing on the Rise
In the olden days, a single consulting company was able to cater to all the needs of its client. Not any longer. Though we still have firms that offer comprehensive solutions, business consulting services that focus on highly specialized areas of a business are emerging. This has prompted companies to hire multiple consulting firms that work in conjunction with each other. So, you are likely to find two or more consulting companies working on the same project.
You may even find a consulting company working along with a freelancer. This practice of hiring multiple consulting firms along with freelancers, referred to as crowdsourcing, is on the rise and will gain traction in the coming years. So, if you are into consulting, be prepared to work along with other firms.
4) Micro-Consulting becoming Commonplace
We all know by experience how fickle today’s business environment has become. Businesses continually face the pressure to enhance efficiency while reducing operational expenditure. Many of them simply cannot afford to engage big consulting firms in long-term assignments that have high stakes for their business.
In many cases, all a business may need is assistance for a short duration on an initiative they have started or expertise to solve a specific business problem. So, they get into a contract with a consulting firm for a short duration to get the work done. The contract ends as soon as the service gets delivered.
In consulting lingo, this is called as micro-consulting. Examples of micro-consulting include reviewing risk for a project, assessing a data migration plan or reviewing an outsourcing contract and recommending changes.
The Final Word
The consulting industry exists because businesses are affected by rapid disruption and need to constantly adapt themselves in order to thrive in an ever-changing environment. Owing to the ease with which an individual can start a business, so many small-and-medium sized companies have sprung up in the last 10 years.
As most of these companies have limited resources to cope with the changing scenario, they seek reliable business consulting services. So, in essence, consulting is a by-product of innovation, and with changes happening across the industrial spectrum, business consulting will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.
Are you aware of any other significant trend we forgot to cover? Scribble in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!