Traits of top IT Strategy Consulting Firms

New and innovative tools and technology are quickly becoming the backbone of strategic goals, including creating competitive advantage, personalizing the customer experience, and empowering employees with meaningful information in real-time. Because of this, the IT buyer and invested parties continue to expand beyond the IT department to span the full C-suite. Now more than ever, there is a need to make distinct connections between IT and business goals and challenges. As leaders across the organization increasingly turn to IT to help meet their goals, there is a growing need to have a holistic IT strategy to ensure investments, goals and strategies are in alignment. To achieve this, organizations are turning to consultants. To be a top IT strategy consulting provider, there are several key elements a firm must have:

  • Goal identification: Leading providers ensure that a clear goal or issue has been identified for the client through a series of workshops, interviews, and comparisons of global leaders’ and industry peers’ best practices, and that the client’s representatives are all in agreement before work commences. Stakeholder buy-in at the beginning of an initiative sets the tone for quick decision-making and clarity throughout the engagement.
  • Success measurement: Top firms prioritize value realization and measurement for the client throughout the engagement and into “business as usual” operations. Clear and defined success metrics, along with transparency into the full IT performance, and periodic reviews and updates keep the client abreast of the initiative’s progress. They also enable the client to articulate this progress to stakeholders and provide an opportunity to make adjustments if the outcome is not as expected.
  • Abreast of technology advancements and research: To truly design a modern and best-fit IT strategy for clients, providers must be on top of IT, trends, and best-practices research. In addition, they must demonstrate a thorough un¬derstanding of how technological advancements should be applied currently, and how a near-term IT design should incorporate flexibility for future advancements.
  • Articulation of people and organizational impact: Leaders are able to identify and articulate the impact that the IT strategy will have on people assets and organizational structure. This process includes assessing current skills, identifying gaps and new roles and responsibilities, and guiding clients in building a tea with both the technical skills and mindset needed to be successful and redefine the IT organization.

As the need for the business-side and IT-side to collaborate increases, consulting firms are ramping up investments to improve their ability in developing a formalized IT strategy. This is also resulting in a more competitive market for consultants, with firms from both ends of the spectrum (business strategy and IT development/outsourcing) building-out complementary capabilities to properly address the client’s IT strategy needs. To stand-out in the IT strategy consulting market, firms need to not only take immediate client needs into account, but arguably more importantly, ensure that the IT strategy is agile and flexible to adapt to the changing needs of the client organization, and advancements in IT and technology. Hand-in-hand with technological advancements comes a greater need for cybersecurity, which will only continue to increase demand for cybersecurity consulting services as organizations collect, use and share more information and connect more devices to the network.

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