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Technology consulting, or IT / ICT consulting or technology consulting, is an advisory segment that focuses on advising companies on how to best use information technology (IT) to achieve their business goals. IT consulting includes both consultancy and implementation services, but does not focus on transactional IT activities.
Technology consulting market
The global market for technology and IT consulting services is estimated to be worth approximately $ 50 billion in 2015, which represents approximately 20% of the total global consulting market, which amounts to approximately $ 250 billion. Since 2011, the global technology consulting market has been growing every year, although compound growth rates (CAGR) have fluctuated in recent years. In the coming years, the market is expected to accelerate its growth, as a result of various trends within the technology domain, including digital, analytics, mobile, social & Internet of Things (IoT).
It is important to note that the definitions used for IT Consulting play a central role in the size attributed to the market. Experts have agreed that only activities that are typically not repeatable within the scope of technology consulting are all. For example, maintaining IT infrastructure (managed services) or managing outsourced services (outsourced services) is not one of the technology consultancy services. However, there is a gray area in between. Kennedy Information - the source held by Consultancy.nl (see 'Consultancy industry' section for details) - defines IT consulting in a relatively narrow fashion, with the result that the market is estimated to be less than a quarter of the total consulting market . As IT implementations, system integration, and software management were included in the definition, the IT consulting market would be about three times larger *. Other analysts tend to use a broader definition, which is why IT consulting accounts for about 40% to 50% of the total market.
IT consulting services
The market for IT consulting services consists of eight disciplines: IT strategy, IT architecture, IT implementation, ERP services, system integration, data analytics, IT security and software management.
IT strategy includes business performance and IT management consulting, often the first phase of IT projects, usually lasting between six and ten months - and on average between two and three months - depending on their complexity. Examples of projects are defining a corporate IT strategy, drawing up a business case for an ERP system or designing a vision on cyber security - projects that form the basis for further IT work.
IT architecture looks at the IT processes and systems, and defines the technological blueprint on which the business processes run. Projects typically last between six and 12 months, and architecture services precede efforts in IT implementations or system integrations. Consulting services include defining an enterprise landscape, implementing a service-oriented architecture (SOA), or supervising the outsourcing of architecture processes to an external party.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) services are activities that support customers in the design, implementation and / or management of ERP systems and modules. Most important services are the choice of ERP packages and implementations of, for example, SAP or Oracle products. The field of system integrations focuses on linking different computer systems and software applications to operate as a whole. It often has to be ensured that ERP systems / modules can link with other applications within the IT segment. IT security focuses on risk, security and compliance responsibilities within the IT landscape, while the IT implementation discipline encompasses all services with a view to design and implementation of technology-driven projects.
Software management is concerned with managing and optimizing the purchase, deployment, maintenance, use and removal of software applications within an organization. Finally, there is the emerging domain of data analytics, which centers around techniques and tools that can support decision-makers in converting massive amounts of data into valuable information. Typical propositions in the market are 'business intelligence', 'workforce analytics', 'customer intelligence', 'data warehousing' (big data) and 'predictive modeling'.
What does an IT consultant do?
Technology consultants are hired by clients to support them in using IT to achieve business goals or solve specific IT challenges. IT projects can vary from strategic projects (such as developing a new IT strategy or cyber security approach), tactical projects (such as the implementation of an ERP system or the selection of an IT system), to operational projects (such as the development of a mobile application).
Technology Consulting Organizations
While IT is becoming increasingly important to achieving business and digital goals, consulting firms have broadened and deepened their technology capabilities over the past decade. Analysts generally distinguish between three types of IT consulting organizations: the major global players that specialize in IT; generalists, who have a separate IT consulting unit; and niche IT players - local players targeting either a specific discipline or market.