26 Jul The impact of digital revolution to the world of consulting
Private and public organisation rely heavily on consulting companies generally when they have to face:
· Optimisation of processes
· Budget cuts
In the late 19th Century and more specifically in 1886, Arthur D Lille founded his partnership specialising in technical research, followed by Frederick W Taylor who launched his consulting practice in 1893. It was then that the industrial revolution hit the world and McKinsey, BCG, AT Kearney and Booz Allen Hamilton became the “big 4”, which proliferated into the “big 8” and today, back to the big 4 with Deloitte, KPMG, PWC and Ernst & Young, generally specialised in management consulting as well as auditing and accounting. Typically, these consulting companies follow a pyramidal model of managing consulting from junior to senior.
Today, there are 48 million mobile users in the UK, in India 1033.20 million, in the USA 265.9 million and China has exceeded 1.3 billion users.
Facebook can report 1.79 billion active users around the world, Twitter 317 billion monthly users and 600 billion Instagram users. The use of Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger are fully integrated into online shopping. It is well accepted that everything is moving online, from the large supermarket to the corner shop – now you have a marketplace instead of having a sales person, you might buy a printed copy of the newspaper at the weekend but during the week you’d read it on a tablet or smartphone, on the go.
E-governance is a must for cost reduction, accessibility and meeting user needs. The Scandinavians have been far ahead in terms of moving online, GOV.uk is another example, and the USA and Australia have followed suit. France is still behind and other emerging countries such as India still need to improve 3G and internet access, as well as taking into consideration that the majority of their users will be using mobile phones.
The Gameboy generation takes all this for granted and couldn’t imagine that in the past, to retrieve an academic paper, one would have had to go to the library, or ask a friend from another university to fax it or even to get an inter library copy, which would have be send physically to your library.
We used to watch and rent VHS videos from the local blockbuster, now they use smart TV, streaming on Netflix and wouldn’t understand the correlation between a VHS or cassette tape and a pencil.
We did not have mobile phones, we got lost looking our friend’s house and we had to find a phone box to make a phone call, no GPS, no Google maps.
The digital revolution is also massively affecting organisations of all sizes.
From pyramidal to the flat, agile structure the digital transformation is not easy. From a human perspective, it is hard on staff as yesterday’s jobs do not exist anymore, and tomorrow’s jobs do not exist yet. Flat structures, fast pace environments, agile scrum teams are all new concepts to most organisations and people.
Businesses need to change quickly, as start-ups have less organisational heaviness; they are faster, flexible and more competitive. This is why start-ups get as much or even more chances of winning contracts, which may have been impossible in the past.
Organisations do not have the resources nor the skills to go through the digital transformation and often need support to help them do so.
The big consulting organisations used to be specialised in management and accounting, today they need to be able to supply a scrum team;
· Could they supply all the experts required?
· Do they have all the skills in-house?
It is important to realise that large consulting companies are also going through massive changes and transformation as they are setting up their digital ventures – could they have the expertise to provide suitable consultants with enough experience?
Where do we find the experts?
You need to ask yourself, whether you want a permanent expert or just a contractor.
It is not easy to find the experts, some recruitment agencies do not have the experience and knowledge in various fields and they may just supply CV’s without pre-screening them, while others are specialised and know exactly what you are looking for. Others could help you to refine your job specifications, as they know their candidates very well.
Marketplaces are also a good way to recruit your experts on one condition; that freelancer and small, specialised agencies should be considered as suppliers.
LinkedIn is also a good way to identify experts; a great resource when looking for permanent staff.
Be careful of big agencies, on so many occasions I worked on projects with so-called “experts” that were far too junior and charged far too much; a mid-weight or senior level. Not only will it cost you a lot, but also they may end not being able to do the job that you require.
“User research by Excellence”