Computer-to-computer communications and end-to-end supply chain are examples of advances in Information Technology (IT) that have reshaped the way companies conduct business. Such advances have created considerable changes in the IT consulting field, and IT consultants should be aware of how their business might be affected. In this article, we will discuss four trends that are having a big impact in IT consulting.
1. EMERGING BUSINESS MODELS
Over the past two decades, business modelling practices have evolved, creating the need for new growth strategies based on technology advances such as e-business. This type of development requires business to create new methodologies in order to provide the highest value to their consulting clients. IT consultants are often challenged with understanding the every-changing landscape of available business models.
Successful IT consultants are not only capable of implementing and advising on new technologies, but also able to manage internal changes that might impact organizational structure, human capital, business process, and leadership style.
New business models often allow for greater businesses autonomy, which in turn allows top management to be highly engaged in the details of the consulting process.
2. THE 3 As
Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Advanced Analytics are changing the way businesses view and serve customers and clients. As the world witnesses exponential technology growth, cloud-computing, IoT and automated services are two examples of recent changes that allow IT consultants to have improved responsiveness with clients.
The 3 As have created an increase in sophisticated demands and requirements, creating additional work for IT consultants. Companies are feeling pressure from their clients’ growing requests, which translates to pressure on IT consultants. Such pressure is driving IT consultants to move away from old, linear and traditional consulting project cycles.
3. NEW SKILL SETS
The complexity of challenges businesses face put pressure on IT consultant to develop new skill sets every few years, to meet the changing demands. Because of this, the role IT consultants is shifting from diagnosing problems and proposing recommendations and solutions to being a critical partner that is providing not only specialized consulting services, but also implementing solutions.
Skills and knowledge such as understanding how the economy works, as well as the idiosyncrasies of human behavior, are examples of skills that were not always on the list of top skills needed in the IT consulting field. These skills and knowledge are quickly gaining importance for consultants in the industry.
4. FREELANCING AND THE FIERCE COMPETITION
There is a tremendous number of freelancers in the field who possess the appropriate knowledge and high level of specialized expertise. Those freelancers are often working on a virtual-team-model, providing their services to clients from anywhere in the world.
This trend, in addition to shrinking budgets that have affected in-house IT services teams, has led to a rise in freelance consultants.
In addition, some of the changes in the competition model have resulted in the emergence of models that give organizations and business access to top talent, as well as the opportunity to build a network of highly qualified, independent IT consultants and professionals.