On the face of it, consulting hasn’t changed in decades. The client has a problem, you help solve it – but everything surrounding that model has changed. Here’s how new tech trends may reshape these services again.
Consulting isn’t all about coming up with big, revolutionary ideas. A lot of it files into the “busy work” cabinet.
AI will step in for simple enquiries and run-of-the-mill duties in the form of chatbots with natural-language processing skills to answer easy questions.
In fact, a lot of legal drudge work is now being taken care of by chatbots in some cases.
This frees up lawyers to give expert advice where it’s most needed, rather than spending time on providing formulaic answers to simple questions.
Unchaining consultants from time spent in this way is huge – imagine if your chatbot handled these easy enquiries, giving you hours for your higher-value client work (and breathing space for you).
As more contact between the client and consultant is cloud-based, sensitive information will be passed between parties (on and off the cloud-based platforms).
Those who show they can safely conduct business online will be zeroed in on as trusted providers.
Consultants who prove they can handle sensitive data that’s both transparent and secure will be the standouts for winning ongoing work.
On the flipside, would you trust a provider who can’t guarantee that your data shared with them won’t be compromised?
Expect concerns over data security to ramp up over the next five years as the wave after wave of serious data breaches add up.
Google is the superbrain of information – it holds nearly all of humanity’s collective knowledge on, well, anything.
It’s becoming easier for clients to solve their own problems simply by typing some key words into a search engine.
Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Now, you may not be a gatekeeper of information, but you can become the curator of information.
There’s a lot of information floating around (and getting worse), but it can be mind-spinning (and thumb scrolling) to sort the wheat from the chaff.
So, clients will search out information themselves to save a few dollars – then get bamboozled by conflicting sources and too much information.
This can be seen as anti-tech blowback, but with rising automation and available data – simply relying on your expertise won’t be enough.
Instead, to thrive you’ll need to embrace those soft skills that make humans what they are.
We’re talking compassion, the ability to quickly build rapport, and just the way a positive human being’s nice to be around.
Beyond your expertise for clients, you’ll stand out from the pack based on the personalised service and your style of human touch.
As we interface with machines acting like humans (Hello, Alexa!), getting to speak to the real thing will be a positive exchange.
So, brush up on those people skills – you’ll need them.
What’s the biggest trend affecting professional services and consulting? Just the sheer amount of change new tech will bring.
As more people inhabit this planet, and the lightning flash pace of bringing things to market, new tech will transform the way we live and work – that includes your clients – in ways we can’t even see.
Already, the pace of changing tech is mind-boggling (remember a world without Facebook?) and those impacts are also mushrooming across the world.
Consultants who are hungry and curious to stay on the bleeding edge will be those bringing that value to clients.
They’ll not only see how new tech tools can help their clients succeed, they’ll guide clients so they can make head or tails of the tech.