QuintEssence Blog: The future of Consulting
Smarter consultants deliver more added value...
Developments in IT have meant that the work of consultants has changed dramatically over the past decades. While the rise of machines and robots means that fewer people are needed to manufacture physical products, for banks and insurers, for example, the use of IT systems means that fewer staff are needed to manage bank accounts and insurance policies. Consumers are also benefiting from user-friendly IT applications on smartphones, tablets and computers. Applying for a new debit card takes just 30 seconds on your smartphone. IT has – and will continue to have – an enormous impact on every profession, including consultancy. Consultants are often hired to solve a particular problem. Traditionally, this is done by performing an analysis and using the results to provide advice on a solution. These analyses are performed by speaking to people working at the company, examining documentation and systems, and drawing conclusions based on experience and interpretation. Consultants routinely use word processing software, spreadsheets and presentations. This is how things are done now and how they were done 20 years ago, albeit with different software versions. High time for a change!
Best of All worlds
One of the technologies that will really shake things up is the automation of the analysis process and the related data collection. The internet is the driving force behind this development: everyone can be reached via the internet. Every two years, computers become twice as powerful (Moore’s Law) and have increasingly more capacity for analyzing large amounts of data. This combination enables data collection and analysis to be performed within a short timeframe. This offers many consultants the opportunity to complete jobs faster and provide more fact based advice.
Should consultants be worried that the work they are hired for today will disappear in the near future? In part, yes. In recent years, IT has not been used to properly automate the work of consultants. This will change through the use of the internet and big data technologies to perform analyses that in the past lay in the domain of consultants. Consultants will still have work, but ‘simple’ and ‘repeated’ actions will be automated. This presents a great opportunity for consultants to expand their added value. For this reason, we are continuing to focus on how we can maximize our added value by introducing automation into the work we do.
*Quintessence is the Quint Trend Institute with the objective to follow and analyze developments that will have an impact on the business of our clients and markets.
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