The Evolution of the Consulting Landscape

Source for Consulting recently released their 2015 market outlooks for the UK and the US, including a recap of 2014 and what’s on the horizon in the year ahead. I was pleased to participate in an interview with Source for the US outlook, discussing the trends impacting North Highland and what we’re seeing in the marketplace. Before I dig into my thoughts on the report, below are a few highlights from the reports:

  • US Consulting market grew by 9% in 2014 (UK + 6.6%)
  • Bifurcation between 2 distinct types of consulting: commodity consulting and high-end consulting
  • Digitization is driving demand for consultants across every function and in every sector
  • In US, 70% expect to spend more on consulting in next 18 months

Overall, 2014 was a success across many consultancies, including North Highland, but as I discussed earlier this year with Forbes, the rise of procurement and the divide between commodity consulting and higher-end consulting continues to impact the consulting industry. For us, we recognize the value that both types of consulting bring to clients, and we continue to service clients across our breadth of offerings, from strategy and advisory to management consulting to delivery and execution. We’ll continue to provide a quality offering and invest in our client relationships.

We all know digital is hot so the fact that demand is high is not a surprise. I believe that digital can’t be siloed into a practice, or a division, to be successful – it must be integrated into everything we do. Whether it’s supporting clients in their drive for a more agile organization, or working with Sparks Grove to define a brand’s human experience, digital innovation will continue to transform the way the world does business.

Of course, as CEO, I love to see that clients are expecting to spend more on consulting in the next 18 months. We’re excited to partner with our clients to develop the right solutions for their most complex challenges. One of my favorite things about our people is their tenacity for problem solving and their passion for developing real relationships with our clients. The fact is, when we say we can do something, it’s done. This mentality will continue to serve us well in 2015, and beyond.

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