● Canada’s consulting market approaches $4bn landmark ($3.91bn)

● Digital transformation work almost quadruples its market share in one year

● Healthcare market–the star performer for consulting work...

Rising profits and increased disruption drove up the use of consultants across Canada’s financial services sector in 2017 as banks and insurance providers overhauled legacy IT systems–partly driven by the government’s payments modernisation initiative. Work in financial services now accounts for almost a third of all consulting revenues in Canada.

With strong demand in financial services, and with every industry sector increasing its use of consultants, Canada’s wider consulting market enjoyed healthy growth of 4.9 per cent to $3.91bn in 2017. As companies across the economy invested more heavily in new technology solutions, the share of consulting work related to digital transformation projects rose rapidly–almost quadrupling in size in 2017.

These figures are published today (26th June 2018) in a new report from the leading research and strategy firm for the global management consulting industry, Source Global Research. The Source report also found that the predominantly public sector-funded healthcare market was the fastest growing for consulting work in 2017. Healthcare providers called on consultants to help them deliver better quality services and reduce operational costs. This need inspired many clients to pursue a complete overhaul of IT systems so that new services such as e-prescriptions could be delivered.

Linda Williams, Canadian Advisory Performance Improvement Leader at EY, who was interviewed for the Source report, said: “Healthcare is once again a star sector this year, as it was last year, specifically in the public sector. There’s a lot of demand to redirect cost toward modernising service to Canadians.”

Edward Haigh, a director at Source Global Research, said:

“Canada has been trailing behind the most advanced markets in terms of digitisation, but in 2017, we saw digitisation make significant advances here. This shift has been driven by increasing disruption from digital leaders—both foreign and domestic—and a pressing need to replace creaking legacy systems. At the same time, increasingly attractive new-technology use cases pouring in from other markets—especially the US—served as a powerful pull, helping to drive digital transformation projects.”

A positive year for public sector consultants

2017 was also a positive year for consultants to Canada’s public sector. The Source report says that while confidence in Prime Minister Trudeau’s liberal administration is part of the reason behind this, once again, an efficiency-inspired digitisation agenda is the main reason consultants experienced greater demand through the year.

At the federal end, the largest projects focused on migrating clients away from legacy IT infrastructure to more efficient and more agile cloud-based platforms. On the municipal side, there was a greater focus on immediate cost savings, particularly through the use of automation in back-office functions.

Consulting arms of accounting firms grow the fastest

2017 was another very good year for the consulting arms of accounting firms—dominated by the Big Four—which once again grew faster than the overall market and faster than any other firm type[1]. With growth, efficiency, and the need to get to grips with digital all high on clients’ agendas, the ability of these very large firms to offer a wide and deep solution set made them a safe choice for clients unsure of where best to turn for support.

Edward Haigh added:

“The growing popularity of asset-based solutions, and exploratory steps into managed services, have also benefited Big Four firms that have been able to leverage developments in other markets to bring a mature suite of offerings to clients in Canada. Those firms that have been able to overcome internal silos and bring all of their solutions to bear to deliver a truly joined-up offer to support transformation opportunities have performed particularly well.”

For more information on Source reports contact ella-sian.jolley@sourceglobalresearch.com or telephone +44 (0)20 3478 1204 or visit www.sourceglobalresearch.com.

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