Consulting market growth fastest for five years

2017 was a good year for Australia’s consultants, with Australia’s consulting market growing 7.1% to reach a total value of just over US$5bn. This rate of growth was significantly faster than the previous year’s (5.2%) and the fastest recorded for five years.

These findings are published in a new report from the leading research and strategy firm for the global management consulting industry, Source Global Research. The Source report says that the speed of consulting market growth in 2017 is largely due to Australia’s heroically performing economy, filled with confident clients looking to invest in digitisation. As a result, in terms of relative volume, Australia is quickly catching up with the global consulting market’s digitisation leaders, such as the UK and U.S., with 36% of Australia’s consulting work now digital.

B.J. Richards, Senior Editor at Source Global Research, added:

“Digitisation is the key driver in Australia’s consulting market, with clients turning to consultants for advice on customer service and experience, while demand for organisation-wide transformation is also spreading quickly. At the same time, data & analytics, moves to cloud-based systems, and RPA feature among the most in-demand solutions for clients.

But digitisation is also shifting the way that consultants deliver services to clients. Firms are increasingly turning to ecosystems to draw upon a wider pool of capabilities and solutions; developing assets so they might provide proven, lower-cost solutions to common business problems; and providing managed services in order to help clients stay on top of the latest technological advances while creating an ongoing revenue stream for themselves.”

Technology consulting

The Source report also found that the technology service line performed very well last year (up 8.6%), largely owing to clients needing help selecting the best technologies for their organisations and the need to integrate new technologies into their legacy IT estates. Strategy consulting also performed well as clients took a hard look at their organisations and considered how growth strategies, customer experience, and even entire business models would need to change in the wake of rapid digitisation.

Ian Hancock, Partner in Charge, KPMG Australia, agrees that improving the customer experience is a key focus for many Australian clients, adding:

“We're seeing real demand for work on customer-centricity, driven by our proposition around the connected enterprise. This enables us to respond to questions about delivering on customer expectations by digitally enabling the front, middle, and back office.”

Source expects 2018 to be another excellent year for Australia’s consultants, and it predicts similarly strong growth in 2019.

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