Consulting firms offer expert advice on a large variety of topics, depending on what particular domain each decides to specialize in. The business started in 1886 thanks to MIT professor Arthur D. Little, but the field began to thrive with the industrial revolution of the 20th century when the new born companies required professional direction to improve finance, strategy, and operational organization management. Although consultancy still operates within those domains, the introduction of information and technology in business paved the way for new targets like technical inefficiency and productivity advancement.
Consultancy has historically been a thriving business accustomed to rapid growth, but things have changed lately. Clients are no longer willing to depend on a consulting company, digital transformation demands a more open-source approach, and remote work is taking over.
With the new business scenario involving more and more autonomation, consultancy firms must now embrace new technology and apply it to the research and analysis process. AI and machine learning can speed up research and insight generation procedures, besides making them more accurate. That means junior consultants can focus on more meaningful work rather than expensive and laborious data handling and number crunching. That leads to another consideration that involves the model of consultancy firms. For instance, if originally they operated according to a pyramidal scheme with the senior management being little involved in projects, now there is a need to change the approach. With the competitiveness that characterizes the sector and the customers' requests becoming more specific, senior consultants' industry knowledge and insight are critical. Not only them, but engineers are also a fundamental asset for consultancy because they have the required level of digital expertise vital in an atomized environment. Furthermore, the one-size-fits-all approach is outdated, and consultancy needs to focus on creating tailor-made solutions for their customers.
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