The traditional “Big 4” or "Big X" IT consultant model is in dire need of radical change. Recent
experiences indicate that although the technology industry continues to morph and deliver to client
demands, the client is really looking for the IT consulting industry to do the same, and act as a “mobile
Some recent examples bring this into focus:
1. A consulting need is often immediate. The client only needs the consultant for a specific period
of time (it may only be one hour or one day, not months) to meet a very specific need. Although
the delivery of some programs may require large amounts of committed consulting time and
resources, the bulk of client requests are not these “big ticket” items. Clients are looking for
consultants that can react quickly, and answer the need with straightforward content and value
added material. If you had one day to accept and respond to a client request, what would you
be able to do?
2. The need is specific. The C-level folks are often looking for a specific piece of data or value
added input in the short term. The trick to meet the specific request is to focus sharply on the
immediate need. Answer the need, but also make the effort to ensure the client understands the
full ramification of what they are asking for by putting the answer in context.
3. It has to be cheap and useful. Just like the mobile application that you love and use all the time,
part of the reason you are using it is that the cost is cheap and the content is consistently useful.
With lots of competition out there for IT consulting and rates becoming more cost competitive,
the consulting help has to be useful. Forget about initially supplying the client with lots of
PowerPoint decks and “fluff.” Give them what they need. And then later send them a link to
more items (again, just like the mobile application).
It may tough to do everything on this short list, but start thinking about your delivery from the view
of your client. Their time and focus is limited and they are often in a position where they must move
forward with a business decision quickly. The legacy models of IT consulting are going to be become
more like the mobile applications we all love to use and can’t wait for the next one!