As we move into a new phase of digital consulting, through the launch of The Experience Centre, our Digital Services accelerator – John Riccio reflects on the evolution of our services, in light of PwC being named a leader in Digital Transformation Consulting by the IDC Marketscape.

As pointed out by Sammy Kumar in his recent presentation at the Amplify Conference, “Technology is enabling industries to be re-imagined at lightning speed. No industry is immune.”

Not even ours. What was once defined as ‘digital consulting’ 20 years ago has undergone a dramatic shift – in terms of context, as well as the breadth and depth of services. It is a lot more collaborative today and new ways of working enable us to engage more with clients in co-creating outcomes and solutions.

Having been focused on the retail industry, I’ve witnessed the rapid acceleration of digital and its importance to customer experience, business efficiency and expansion. One of the biggest changes now compared to then is the level of innovation that is technology-led. In the early days most of the innovation was business-led with technology trying to catch up.

Initially relegated to IT departments, digital is now a whole of business concern and priority. The IDC Marketscape: Worldwide Digital Transformation Consulting and Systems Integration Services 2015 Vendor Assessment’ reiterated this point, finding that “60% of the time a variety of non-IT roles were the key sponsors for digital transformation implementation”.

The true strength of an evolved digital consulting service is in bringing together a consolidated view across an enterprise to enable holistic digital transformation – from strategy through to execution.

The push for a new model

Digital consulting is not about the technologies. It’s about new ways of? solving problems, creating unique experiences and accelerating business growth. Where methodologies and process were key to consulting broadly, there has been a marked move into providing services that can stretch the thinking and imagination of organisations into ‘white space’ growth areas.

Senior leaders are now realising that the pace of digital is at maturity to meet even the zaniest of ideas. Once perhaps met with scepticism around the boardroom table – it is these radical ideas that are resulting in some of the greatest business successes of our time… think, Google, Apple, Amazon.

IDC Marketscape Digital Transformation Consulting Services

According to the IDC Marketscape report, buyers rate PwC very highly for its ability to meet digital transformation project timelines. Additionally, IDC rated PwC highly in terms of both current capabilities and future strategies in digital transformation implementation services, viewing PwC’s ‘future business strategy’ and ‘future offering strategy’ as its greatest strengths.

“A successful digital transformation solution requires a seamless combination of business process and IT/people change that meets business needs with the correct implementation of 3rd Platform technologies. Therefore services vendors in the space must possess solid technical expertise across all aspects of the 3rd Platform technologies as well as equally sound business process and change management knowledge to stay relevant in the space,” states Ali Zaidi, Senior Research Analyst, IT Consulting and Systems Integration Strategies at IDC.

This evolution means that digital consultants need to be change agents, as well as technologists. In some respects (with cloud, mobile etc.), the technology landscape is becoming easier to manage and consultants need to focus on the experience and orchestration of outcomes. In short, they need to be customer focused and ensure that the experience is the first priority in what is delivered.

This essentially means a new model of digital consulting, one that goes beyond borders and just methodologies or process to re-imagine business models for the digital age.

What does this mean?

In driving business model innovation we’ve identified four broad areas that present opportunities to enable this transformation:

Disruption – Transforming business through innovative models that don’t exist in the market today.
The IDC Marketscape report states “… digital approaches can create innovation that disrupt business process, functions, or entire industry value chains.” There is an enormous opportunity for organisations to proactively examine their business models and ‘self-disrupt’ in order to uncover new opportunities both commercial and interactional.

Engagement – Enabling digital interactions in a more engaging and seamless way.
In undergoing business model innovation, management of culture and organisational change are essential to making change stick. The greatest tech driven office space in the world will be meaningless without establishing the right culture, empowering people and taking everyone ‘on the journey’. This requires a shift in thinking. Leaders and organisations need to be more human centred, transparent and to understand the art of storytelling in bringing the new ways of working to life.

Digitisation – Digitising processes to improve employee productivity, supplier interaction, and customer satisfaction.
With new technologies flooding the market on a daily basis the opportunities for digitisation are significant. It’s up to businesses to look at these technologies from a holistic perspective, recognising the potential and identifying the solutions that will best fit their needs across their entire business model.

Trust – Ensuring secure information in a digital age to inspire trust.
Moving to a truly digitised business model comes with new exposure to potential cyber security risks and privacy concerns. As a part of this re-imagination – whether a customer, supplier or employee – instilling trust and confidence in the experience is critical to success.

Introducing ‘The Experience Centre’

In recognition of this shift in digital consulting, we will usher in a new era through the global alignment of our offering and launch of The Experience Centre – our Digital Services accelerator.

A dedicated immersive and interactive environment, we will work together with our clients in The Experience Centre to co-create integrated digital solutions across the entire business transformation process including strategy, people, change management and organisational implications to make change a lasting reality.

Combining the best of digital agency and consulting expertise, The Experience Centre has the ingredients? to create a customer journey that considers global views, industry-specific strategy, the user experience strategy, and the technology and integration to bring it to life.

The future of digital consulting

According to Professor Richard Forster from Yale University in 2012 (quoted by BBC News):

‘The average lifespan of a company listed in the S&P 500 index of leading US companies has decreased by more than 50 years in the last century, from 67 years in the 1920s to just 15 years today.”

Indicating that the need to accelerate digital transformation and business model innovation is significant.

Keeping this in mind, it is the depth of digital expertise, understanding of technology implications, business and industry nous, the ability to be innovative, agile and adaptable, to focus on the overall experience, as well as taking a practical approach to delivering timely and quality outcomes that will define the future of digital consulting.

SOURCE: IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation Consulting and Systems Integration Services 2015 Vendor Assessment, by Ali Zaidi and Gard Little, May 2015, IDC #255870

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. The Capabilities score measures vendor product, go-to-market and business execution in the short-term. The Strategy score measures alignment of vendor strategies with customer requirements in a 3-5-year timeframe. Vendor market share is represented by the size of the circles. Vendor year-over-year growth rate relative to the given market is indicated by a plus, neutral or minus next to the vendor name.



John Riccio

John is PwC’s Global Design & Deploy, Experience Consulting partner.

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