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Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption with the Advent of Big Data?

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Is Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption with the advent of Big Data?

        Disruption, or base plate changes to an industry, has been continually hitting many traditional businesses over the past decades. Since the internet became more prominent in the late 90s, changes have been a fact of life. Even well-established industries/businesses like retail, media, and travel, have been uprooted and transformed by the arrival of information technology services. New players in the industry such as Amazon, Google, and eBay have succeeded largely by using Big Data as their core strategy of business.[pic 1]

Disruption in the consumer markets by Big Data has got most of the attention, but B2B businesses are also ripe for a change. Manufacturing, tourism and many other industries are affected not just by globalization, but also by other factors like connectivity, technology, and digitalization leaps.[pic 2]

Many B2B service industries have also been disrupted with the advent of Big Data. Marketing and media has seen a lot of changes since the internet arrived in glory, with new media channels and advertising networks. Information Technology, customer servicing, accounting and some other sectors have been transformed by outsourcing globally. In the legal industry, traditionally exclusive bonds between clients and the law firms are loosening.

Business consulting, though, has been observed to be immune against disruption by technology, maybe because usually consultants are the ones who promote change in other industries. Why aren’t they moving forward with technology in their own game?

Odds are that they consciously won't. An HBR article shows McKinsey Solutions as an indication that disruption is awaiting the consulting industry as well. McKinsey Solutions is a firm that delivers analytics software and tools that can be embedded at clients and can be used in shorter projects for quicker results. While McKinsey tries to fight the technological disruption this way, there are a number of start-ups and niche players who want to get Big Data on the action.

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Without any doubts, Big Data combined with Agile analytics, is a serious threat to the established thinking of management consultants and business development executives. Rather than spending weeks/months together on analysing and studying internal work flows, customer interviews, and discussing with key personnel, one could rely on the (Big) data.

Businesses today continually create a lot of new transactional data - from sales and marketing, distributions, customer relationships, production, transportation and much more. Apart from this, there’s a huge amount of data generated by internet surfing, social media, web sites, and the Internet of Things. By tapping into this Big Data, using Agile analytical methods, business analysts could rapidly respond to the business requirements and deliver timely results to the decision makers.

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