High-value and low-cost consulting—like oil and water, the signs are that they don’t mix

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Regular readers of her blog will know that we see the consulting industry dividing into two markets: the low-cost market, where familiarity results in super-specialisation, standardisation, and—ultimately—commoditisation; and high-value consulting, in which unfamiliar problems can only be solved by smart people supported by clever tools, writes Fiona Czerniawska of Top Consulting.

We’ve argued that these two markets co-exist, but the former, although bigger (about 70% of the total, we estimate) is growing more slowly than the latter—which would be fine except that clients are telling us that these markets are also diverging, making it hard for firms to do both. All that’s created pressure on the consulting business model.

We see the consulting industry dividing into two markets: the low-cost market and high-value consulting, Same can be said for accounting. Click To Tweet
For some time now we’ve been looking at how this complex market is evolving, but we’ve been guilty of ignoring its behind-the-scenes impact. If you’re a big consulting firm, you’ll want to keep—or build—a foot in both camps: that’s because large-scale transformation projects, which account for half of all new growth in the current market, require elements of both. The evidence of this has been all around us for a while – Accenture’s launch of Accenture Strategy, PwC’s acquisition of Strategy&, EY buying the Parthenon Group, etc.,—but the internal ramifications are also becoming clear.

Finish Reading At: Top-Consulting Blog

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