2018 Consulting Outlook
The current uncertainty in our political environment compounded by disruption throughout industry is creating a climate ripe for consulting services. Traditionally, risk and opportunity have driven the need for companies to invest in consulting services and 2018 is offering a plethora of both. The 2017 Management Consulting Outlook compiled by Greentarget forecasts significant changes in multiple markets, including healthcare, financial services, energy, manufacturing, retail technology, and defense. Looking strictly at risk and opportunity as driving factors for the consulting industry, it is clear those same predictions are holding true this year.
As the United States moves into a second year with President Donald Trump’s administration, we are seeing policy changes—or potential policy changes—in nearly every industry. From modifications to the Affordable Care Act to new tax codes, companies are looking for assistance and guidance in navigating evolving landscapes, thus opening the doors for niche consulting firms that can offer creative solutions to new and relevant problems.
The Trump administration has implemented new tax codes designed to increase business opportunities and drive revenue. While viewed as positive for many business owners, it has also led to uncertainty. This has increased the opportunities for tax advisory services to help organizations determine the impacts based on their individual situations and fact patterns. Likewise, changes in immigration, energy, and climate policies will have a ripple effect throughout the public sector, the defense industry, and many more leaving open the possibilities for other consulting firms to step in and offer guidance.
In the midst of all this change, managers continue to face traditional leadership challenges overseeing businesses, including human resource functions, digital transformation efforts, as well as optimizing processes and decreasing costs. These leaders are looking for best practices for finding, retaining and optimizing talent and looking to small consulting firms that can offer a personalized solution for their specific needs.
According to the Greentarget Outlook, consulting companies are also facing significant disruptions they must pay attention to if they want to remain competitive. Some of the disruptions they covered included organizations that were building their own strategy teams to find solutions, those turning to lower cost competitors, companies finding solutions through new technology, or those that might turn to less traditional professional consulting firms. Therefore, it is important for professional service firms to develop personal connections with their clients, so they can serve as complementary business partners. If they are able to think creatively they will be able to offer relevant solutions and satisfy client needs.
Industry leaders are looking for creative, cost-effective solutions, and when a professional service firm can customize a solution it is a win-win. Consequently, in this era of risk and opportunity, consulting services face increased relevance and a positive business outlook.