Digital Disruption in Consulting
As they say, digital forces move fast and digital disruption happens before you even notice it.
When I read KPCB’s Design in Tech in 2015 , one the things that caught my eye was Accenture’s acquisition of design company Fford. At that time, I thought something might be up. But as they say, you snooze you lose. I did not keep my pulse on Accenture and I am only just noticing how Accenture has been quietly riding the digital revolution and and how it has transformed itself into a digital leader.
Under the transformational leadership of Accenture Chairman and CEO, Pierre Nanterme, the business has gone from being known as a second tier consulting / IT implementation player to a global leader in digital services, with $31B in revenues. It now has five units: Accenture Strategy, Accenture Consulting, Accenture Digital, Accenture Operations and Accenture Technology.
“We decided to significantly change the nature of the services we are providing to our clients by creating, really, a digital-first company, and digital first in two main directions – first, being the leader in providing digital services to our clients and second, making Accenture the most digitalized organization.”
The largest growing area is Technology, which comprises of Accenture’s (IMACS) Interactive, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and Security. To my surprise, Accenture Interactive are one of the largest enterprise app developers in the world! Guess all that IT integration is coming in handy.
And while most advertising agencies are suffering with the decline in traditional and paid ad spend, Accenture Interactive was recently named by Advertising Age as the largest digital advertising agency network and fourth largest consolidated advertising agency network in the world.
The company has also been making strong steps with predictive analytics and algorithm development with its business scientists. According to Nanterme, Accenture is now one of the leading companies providing services in the Cloud, either implementing software in the cloud or supporting clients moving to the cloud from their legacy environments.
Lastly, Security is a key service and growth driver. “If you want to be relevant in digital, you need to provide cyber security services. These 5 capabilities that we have invested in significantly these past four years will account for 33 percent of our revenues,” says Nanterme.
It’s no surprise that Accenture’s stock price has doubled over the last 5 years as a reflection of the growth.
Accenture’s new website is also modern and sleek – black like many of the trendy new digital dashboards. Evidence of strong content marketing can be seen in the breadth and depth of research published – whether it is in-house content or research commissioned from the firms like Gartner, Forrester as well as collaborating with institutions like the Word Economic Forum to conduct large scale studies and publish white papers on all matters digital.
Other IT-focused consultancies are also investing in marketing. In fact, both Accenture and IBM are considered thought leaders in marketing. With the convergence of marketing and tech, IT consulting firms dual capability is appealing to both CMOs and CIOs.
So where does that leave the traditional strategy consulting firm like Bain McKinsey and BCG?