• Retailers such as Carrefour turn to consultants to help address disruption from online competition

• Cybersecurity work rises after high-profile breaches such as the Airbus hack...

After growing strongly in 2017 (6.2%), France’s consulting market showed little sign of slowing down in 2018; last year the market grew even faster–up 6.9% to €4.86bn.

With French companies turning to consultants to help respond to ongoing digital disruption, every sector and service line in the market enjoyed growth. Digital work now accounts for 39% of all consulting revenues earned in France, up from 30% the previous year.

This data is published today (20th May 2019) in a new report by Source Global Research, the leading research and strategy firm for the global professional services industry. This report also revealed that the retail sector experienced the fastest growth in 2018, as retailers were forced to address disruption from online competition.

Bertrand Baret, Senior Partner – EY Consulting, said:

“Demand from the retail sector in France was extremely strong in 2018. The whole sector is undergoing massive upheaval at the moment as digital players continue to grow, and we’re seeing the large retail groups, such as Carrefour, launching massive transformation projects as they transition towards a more digital business model.”

The Source report also found that the financial services market–France’s biggest–also had a good year, growing 7.9% as a result of a wave of digital transformation and regulatory compliance projects.

Risk & regulatory consulting was the fastest-growing service line in France last year, growing 10.8%, largely thanks to demand for cybersecurity initiatives and GDPR compliance.

Ashok Patel, Writer/Editor at Source Global Research, said:
“With French companies relying ever more on digital and cloud-based technology, demand for cybersecurity initiatives is increasing across all sectors. The dangers of not being well defended are all too real, with a steady stream of high-profile breaches—such as the Airbus hack—helping to keep cybersecurity top of mind in the C-suite.”

Government reforms – cybersecurity:
The report also revealed that with the French government pursuing plans to develop its own encrypted messaging service in an effort to keep confidential government work away from the prying eyes of other states, cybersecurity is also becoming a big driver of work in the public sector. The need to protect data is becoming so much of a focus that those consulting firms able to combine digital know-how with cybersecurity expertise are likely to fare extremely well as digital transformation efforts continue in 2019.

Technology – France’s largest service line
The technology market, which accounts for around a third of all consulting revenues in France, enjoyed strong growth in 2018 as clients looked to implement digitisation initiatives, upgrade legacy technology, and build more agile systems.

Ashok Patel added:
“As digitisation moves ever closer to the hearts of organisations—and as clients develop a better understanding of what new technologies can do and what they want from them—the ways in which clients are using consultants are changing. One big change we’re seeing in France is clients hiring consultants, not to spearhead digital initiatives, but to speed them along and make sure they are hitting their goals.”

Pascal Gaston, Founding Director at Alenium Consultants, said:
“The client is more mature now than 10 years ago—they know about consulting and have their own ways of doing things, so you need to fit in with their capability more. Rather than doing all the doing, these days a large part of our role is accelerating the project.”

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