Today, corporate consulting is a multibillion-dollar industry with an ever-widening spectrum of players – from big accounting companies (each approaching $10-15 billion in revenue) to independent, small businesses. But, how did corporate consulting gain popularity? This article discusses the origins and the future of this booming industry.
What Is the History of Corporate Consulting?
You'd be interested to know that Arthur D Little, a former MIT professor who went on to commercialize acetate and many other ground-breaking products, founded the first consultancy company as far back as 1886. Bruce Henderson of Arthur D Little founded the Boston Consulting Group, which in turn led to Bain & Company formed by Bill Bain, an ex-BCG member.
Enter the World of Corporate Consulting
Post-World War II consultancy houses like McKinsey began to grow as companies, especially the American firms, began to diversify and expand worldwide. During this period, most of the work and its study was funded by the Global 1000 business CEOs and board members who wanted external feedback and confidence in their large-scale growth plans. Significant payments gave such consultancies a highly luxurious lifestyle and standard.
The Rise and Growth of Technology
By the 1980s, businesses were increasingly obsessed with automation to simplify manual activities. The growth in centralized computing and associated software services supplied the big accounting firms with enough support, all of whom aimed to expand revenues above the audit fees. At the same time, IT vendors such as HP, ORACLE and IBM started to pursue new consultative approaches to meet their client's demands.
A wave of opinion leaders started to emerge in response, promoting the idea that Technology could offer a true strategic advantage. In comparison to general management experts like Hamal, Porter and Peters, emerging industry pioneers like Hammer, Champy and Davenport started dreaming about reengineering companies.
The Effect Emergence of E-Commerce Has on Corporate Consulting
Companies started to understand the potential of the Internet as a transformative medium for all facets of the corporate consulting industry by the late 1990s. Excitement arose for e-markets that could electronically exchange products between companies (B2B). Additionally, customers could also buy and sell products and services over the Internet (C2C). Together, this created a whirlwind of corporate consulting activities as boards accepted the need to implement newer ways of running their business.
The Next Big Thing in Corporate Consulting Is Digital Transformation
Corporate consulting companies have now turned to digital innovation as the next big thing, ever thirsty for multi-million-dollar profits, and having drained the ERP pot. The compelling case for reengineering on a global scale has emerged with digital pioneers like Amazon and Google hitting trillion-dollar valuations and confronting incumbents.
Our thought leaders at TRC Corporate Consulting, with their in-depth analysis of market trends, believe that 'modernizing the infrastructure' by expensive transformation experiments just offers a small extension to the final elimination. Many firms in the Global 1000 list are witnessing rising sales and stock valuations. Some have begun the daunting challenge of innovating at the corporate envelope's 'edge,' leveraging modern market models that wave II technologies such as the Internet of Things, Blockchain and AI allows.
A New Era for Corporate Consulting
It's an enormous challenge to develop genuinely new business concepts, rife with risk and the possibility of imminent failure. The theory of 'scale performance,' which underpinned successive consultancy waves, is now morphing into 'scale learning' (as M&G Prudential's Tarun Kohli puts it). For instance, in the finance industry, new business models involving closely linked eco-systems are being investigated for digitalization, the emergence of Fin-Tech firms, the growing demand of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the rethinking of the money and finance paradigm. These require new skills are not just based on creative thinking and digital architecture, but also extensive industry knowledge and research.
In fact, clients are searching for greater experience in all areas of Wave II technology and related market models from their corporate consulting partners. Corporate consulting firms identify these skills and develop new expertise to meet the changing industry requirements.
What Should You Expect from Your Corporate Consulting Partners?
In the last few decades, the corporate consulting market has evolved and shifted significantly, and so has the essence of partnerships between clients and corporate consulting companies.
At TRC, our opinion is that clients should opt for a unique partnership based on:
Innovation and expertise directed at productivity and profitability rather than scale efficiency.
Relationships of risk/reward representing delivered interest rather than the time invested.
More profound external experience which complements in-house skills and speeds up learning.
An experienced and successful track record of different projects.
Our team of corporate consulting professionals use a dynamic approach that is comprehensively built to fulfil your business needs. We believe that your company's financial life isn't limited to investing, and neither should your advice. We help you manage financial activities to make your business goals turn attainable.
Our consulting experts are committed to working with you throughout the financial planning process. Partner with us for all your corporate consulting needs and take your business to another level. For any queries or understanding, contact us!