Top Trends Disrupting the Business Consulting Industry

Consulting Industry

Consulting is one of the fastest-growing industries in India. It contributes to the rapid growth of sectors such as telecommunications, e-commerce, software designs, hardware systems design & implementation, intranet & the internet, and website development & operation. The consulting industry is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 30 percent and as per the reports of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, it is expected to emerge into INR 27,000 crores industry by 2020.
Currently, there are about 6000 consultancy firms in metropolitan cities. The Consulting Industry is growing at a fast pace and soaring to new heights all across the world. It is vital now to make an action plan to exploit the tremendous potential available for growth of the consulting market. Also, there is a need to reinforce the framework of Indian consulting industry by including innovation, nurturing talent, improving the quality of consulting services, and enhancing consulting skills. The adoption of best practices data warehousing, knowledge management tools, and the internet ensures the faster growth of this industry in the near future.
Let us look at some of the trends promising to disrupt the Business consulting industry in the near future:
Merging of Digital Agencies and Consulting Firms
As the definition of Consulting continues to evolve, digital agencies are increasingly offering consulting services, and established consulting firms are adding digital expertise to their offerings. The consulting world is undergoing a shift. Since the last few years, consulting firms have been rapidly launching new digital consulting divisions. What started off as a fascination with product design and more engaging web interfaces has become a full blown movement towards digitalization.
Commodification of Knowledge and Expertise
Today, increasing amounts of Internet-based content is available to the public. Similar to best practices, guidelines and case studies, consulting “knowledge” and “expertise” are more commoditized. Even the concept of “micro consulting” has entered into the language of the consulting industry. This concept involves an expert engaging in short, targeted projects for clients as opposed to months-long work by a team of consultants.
Freelancers Retain Independent Role
Similar to other professions, the freelance model of work continues its influence within the consulting field. Some freelance consultants work independently while some consultants join online consulting marketplaces or partner with small or large consulting firms.
A recent independent survey found that most freelancers had no intention of leaving the independent world in order to transition to full-time work for a consulting firm. The freelance consultants are in high demand due to such issues as cost pressures by clients. Freelance experts often can customize their prices and billing, whereas larger consultancies may not have that flexibility.
Growing demand for Performance-Based Billing Models
As the repercussions of the 2008 recession still permeate the thinking of many clients, the pay structures of some consultancies are being affected. Since many clients now have the technological capability to analyze every expense, they are analyzing spending on consulting and examining the return on its investment. Accordingly, many clients are requesting customized prices for targeted projects. Additionally, performance-based billing is also trending among consultants. Such pricing styles can prevent client concerns regarding unexpected fees, as well as provide a real attainable benchmark for consultancies to prove their value.
Consulting Firms and Individual Experts Crowd Source Together
Similar to the freelance trend, the consulting industry is also availing itself of talent from external sources. The crowdsourcing trend is becoming very common among consultancies. It is difficult to have every required expertise that a client desires, so firms are often working with specialty companies and experts outside of the consultancy. With this expanded network of knowledge, a client can gain their desired insights. The consultants are working with digital agencies or tech startups and even independent freelance professionals in order to gain the expertise that is needed. The relationships among the different firms are mutually beneficial.

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