IT consulting firms certainly have their work cut out. With recent events such as the pandemic to customers demanding more from the services they buy, it’s evident that the industry is facing more pressure than ever before.
However, by better understanding the challenges your IT consultancy firm faces, you can become more resilient and adaptable. Let’s take a look:
- The introduction of new working models
- Bridging the skills gap
- Embracing digitalisation
- Lack of data visibility
- Data and security threats
- Dealing with the complexity of client projects
1. The introduction of new working models
The rise of video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams has enabled employees in the IT consulting industry to work anywhere, from any device.
It’s now found that one in five Brits want to work full-time remotely. This means that if you haven’t got the technology available to offer alternative ways of working, it’ll result in issues such as low employee retention or struggles with persuading new candidates to get onboard.
There has been a rise in hybrid working models too, with a study finding that 85% of working adults want to use a hybrid approach in the future. To overcome this challenge, you should focus on bringing in real-time communication tools that will give your teams the ability to message with ease, whilst also improving your collaboration.
2. Bridging the skills gap
Due to the increasingly complexity of projects, you’ll need consultants behind them who are knowledgeable about the industry, have access to the best technology, and know how to solve any issues on the spot. However, it’s estimated that more than half of all employees will require significant reskilling this year, which will impact your projects efficiency in turn.
Additionally, your consultants will need to keep up to speed with any new software on the market, and as training will be time consuming and potentially costly, this’ll impact your profitability. To navigate the skills gap challenge, you should:
- Work on creating an employee-friendly culture – it’s not enough to just offer an attractive salary or other perks. Instead, employees will want a workplace where they feel proud to be part of. So, ensure you invest in the latest technology that’ll offer increased collaboration and efficiency
- Use automation to your advantage – remove the need for employees to carry out time consuming tasks such as network configuration by automating these processes, reducing the chance of human error and increasing the proactivity of your workforce
3. Embracing digitalisation
Implementing new technologies can seem daunting at first, however, your IT consultancy firm could be left behind if you fail to embrace tools such as automation and AI. Customers expect you to deliver quality projects on time and on budget – not hope.
A study found 50% of sector leaders indicate that digital transformation is a top five business priority. With more IT consultancy firms embracing the use of AI to enhance their efficiency and scalability, a challenge for many firms is how to successfully introduce new technology within their business. To tackle this, you’ll need to have an effective change management strategy.
The importance of a change management strategy
With any implementation, change management is essential as it allows your team to buy into the change. Once, you’ve answered their ‘what’s in it for me’ question’, you’ll then need to consider how you’re going to train them with the digital solutions you’re introducing.
Get a copy of our change management checklist below so you can learn about:
- Our five step change management approach, from planning to execution
- How to identify the key people you need internally for the project
- The people you should outsource
4. Poor data visibility
Poor data visibility means your teams will have to go back and forth between departments to gather the information they need. Not only does this create tedious leg work, but it could also result in delays to your client’s projects.
Siloed information impacts your data reporting and decision making. This is because by the time you’ve taken to gain the relevant information, the project will have moved ahead by this point, meaning you’ll be making decisions based on outdated information.
Therefore, by gaining a birds-eye view on your data across your IT consulting firm, you can make confident decisions on your projects with actionable insights, delivering better results in the process. However, you’ll also need to ensure that your data is protected, leading to the next challenge we’ve identified.
5. Data and security threats
As an IT consulting firm, you’ll know that the more data you hold, the more at risk you’ll be to breaches and/or losses. To mitigate this risk, your consultancy should look towards migrating data to the cloud, allowing you to:
- Monitor data around the clock
- Detect breaches before they happen
- Provide security measurements, such as file permissions and authorisation
Find out more about migrating your data to the cloud here.
6. Dealing with the complexity of client projects
With the rapid evolvement of technologies, clients are now demanding more out of their projects. To mitigate this challenge, you should be looking towards implementing a professional services automation tool. Why? A PSA tool can help you not only run projects smoothly but predictably too, meaning you can better anticipate worst-case scenarios before they happen. Here are some of the other benefits PSA software offers:
Integrated project accounting – Integrated Project Accounting with full visibility and access to cost and sales tracking and budget and forecasting data
Time and expense management tool – See how long your projects are expected to run so you can balance out taking on new projects as well as maintaining the efficiency of existing ones
Simplified project planning – ensure the right resources are assigned to the right project at the right time, making it easier to manage all of your resources
Explore more challenges facing IT consulting firms today
New challenges are always going to appear in the professional services industry, meaning you’ll have to stay as agile and resilient as possible to mitigate the risks. In our infographic, we dive deeper into these major challenges, as well as exploring:
- How digitisation is transforming the professional services industry
- The steps to a successful digital transformation strategy
Interested? Get your copy below.