The best consulting firms for IT strategy and digital transformation

12 June 2018 Consultancy.uk

A group of 50 management and digital consulting firms in the United Kingdom have been lauded for their services in IT strategy and digital transformation. The group broadly consists of the IT arms of top strategy consultancies, generalist professional services firms, ‘pure’ IT consultancies, and diverse miscellaneous firms which have performed well in the more than $40 billion digital transformation consulting market.

In early 2018, The Financial Times released its annual ranking of the top members of Britain’s management consulting scene. Along with traditional management consultancy firms, those considered relevant for the analysis included IT consultancies, advisory branches of auditing firms and consultancy branches of technology companies. Statista used two online surveys – one polling executives and partners of consulting firms, while the other cross examined a pool of executives from the client base of the management consultancies – giving respondents the chance to present a selection of consulting firms on a long-list of over 1,000 firms with ratings of four to six stars.

Based on the feedback from both consultants and clients, a list of the leading consulting firms in the UK was crafted. While the resulting list provided a comprehensive overview of the top leading management consulting firms in the UK generally, the research also explored which firms led in 29 individual sectors; including the healthcare and life sciences arena, and the IT strategy and digital transformation segment.

The growth of the digital transformation consulting market has accelerated continuously in recent years, driven by a desire among firms across all sectors to exploit new digital innovations to reduce long-term expenditure and improve efficiency and productivity in the process. The pervasive nature of this wave of change has seen practically every level of global business attempt to transform, partially out of the fear of falling victim to digital disruption, meaning the consulting work aimed at digital transformation now stands as a $44 billion market.

Consultancies which have benefitted from this surge in demand have come in the shape of four broad groups. The IT wings of traditional strategy firms like McKinsey & Company; generalists such as the Big Four; ‘pure’ IT firms including the likes of Infosys and IBM; and miscellaneous professional services firms such as Atkins and BearingPoint. In order to understand which global firms were performing most strongly in the field, Consultancy.uk has analysed the research of Statista and the Financial Times to determine 50 of the best firms for IT strategy and digital transformation services.  

The best consulting firms for IT strategy and digital transformation

An overview of the top 50 consulting firms for IT strategy and digital transformation (in alphabetical order):

Accenture
Founded: 1989. Headquarters: Dublin. Employees globally: 442,000.

Adaptive Lab
Founded: 2009. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 60.

Agility in Mind
Founded: 2010. Headquarters: Wiltshire. Employees globally: 9.

Argon Consulting
Founded: 2001. Headquarters: Levallois-Perret. Employees globally: 230 (with Crimson & Co).

ASE Consulting
Founded: 1987. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 41.

A.T. Kearney
Founded: 1926. Headquarters: Chicago. Employees globally: 10,400.

Atkins Global
Founded: 1938. Headquarters: Surrey. Employees globally: 15,740.

Atos Consulting
Founded: 1997. Headquarters: Bezons. Employees globally: 3,315.

Avanade
Founded: 2000. Headquarters: Seattle. Employees globally: 10,922.

Bain & Company
Founded: 1973. Headquarters: Boston. Employees globally: 11,052.

Baringa Partners
Founded: 2000. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 654.

BCG - The Boston Consulting Group
Founded: 1963. Headquarters: Boston. Employees globally: 19,034.

BearingPoint
Founded: 2002. Headquarters: Amsterdam. Employees globally: 4,343.

BMC Consulting Services
Founded: 1986. Headquarters: Amersfoort. Employees globally: 412.

Capgemini Consulting
Founded: 1990. Headquarters: Paris. Employees globally: 13,137.

Chaucer
Founded: 1987. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 214.

Cognizant
Founded: 1994. Headquarters: Teaneck. Employees globally: 211,490.

Deloitte Consulting
Founded: 1893. Headquarters: New York. Employees globally: 14,926.

Deloitte Digital
Founded: 1999. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 5161.

DMW Group
Founded: 1989. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 105.

DXC Consulting
Founded: 2017. Headquarters: Tysons. Employees globally: 59,063.

EY Advisory Services
Founded: 1989. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 241,301.

Gartner
Founded: 1979. Headquarters: Stamford. Employees globally: 10,925.

Grant Thornton
Founded: 1924. Headquarters: Chicago. Employees globally: 16,809.

IBM Global Business Services
Founded: 1911. Headquarters: New York. Employees globally: 516,933.

Infosys Consulting
Founded: 1981. Headquarters: Bangalore. Employees globally: 196,119.

KPMG Advisory
Founded: 1987. Headquarters: Toronto. Employees globally: 64,646.

KPMG Boxwood
Founded: 2005. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 83.

LiveStrategy
Founded: 2015. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 6.

Managementors
Founded: 1996. Headquarters: Berkshire. Employees globally: 40.

McKinsey & Company
Founded: 1926. Headquarters: New York. Employees globally: 24,663.

Moorhouse Consulting
Founded: 2004. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 159.

NCC Group
Founded: 1999. Headquarters: Manchester. Employees globally: 1,719.

Netcel
Founded: 1995. Headquarters: Hertfordshire. Employees globally: 54.

NTT Data
Founded: 1967. Headquarters: Texas. Employees globally: 14,215.

Oliver Wyman
Founded: 1984. Headquarters: New York. Employees globally: 4,811.

PA Consulting Group
Founded: 1943. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 3,894.

PPL Consulting
Founded: 1991. Headquarters: Victoria. Employees globally: 6.

PwC Consulting
Founded: 1849. Headquarters: Washington. Employees globally: 167,313.

Roland Berger
Founded: 1967. Headquarters: Munich. Employees globally: 2,400.

RSM UK
Founded: 1988. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 3,423.

Sapient Consulting
Founded: 1990. Headquarters: Boston. Employees globally: 518.

SapientRazorfish
Founded: 1990. Headquarters: New York. Employees globally: 6,372.

Strategy&
Founded: 2014. Headquarters: New York. Employees globally: 3,539.

Symphony Ventures
Founded: 2014. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 171.

Tata Consultancy Services
Founded: 1968. Headquarters: Mumbai. Employees globally: 366,978.

Turnstone Services
Founded: 2006. Headquarters: London. Employees globally: 7.

Wavestone
Founded: 1990. Headquarters: Paris. Employees globally: 2,811.

Wipro
Founded: 1945. Headquarters: Bangalore. Employees globally: 6,272.

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Six attractive professional services firms to work for in UK

23 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Consulting firms dominate the 25 companies named by LinkedIn as the most attractive organisations to work for in Britain. JLL, Engie, CBRE, Atkins, Schroders and GE each made the grade, with the professional services sector putting in the strongest showing of any industry in the UK.

Each year, the editors and data scientists of social business platform LinkedIn examine which firms are the most attractive to job seekers, as well as which are the best at retaining their talent. Utilising information gathered from billions of actions taken by more than 433 million members, LinkedIn leverages a data-driven approach to consider what members are doing – not just saying – in their search for fulfilling careers. The result is the Top Companies list, an annual ranking of the most sought-after companies – now in its fifth year.

Each of the previous incarnations of the list has seen a strong showing from the UK consulting industry, with its contingent including McKinsey & Company, EYBoston Consultancy Group and Accenture in 2018. This year has seen the sector continue to see its stock rise, with the diversity of the sector’s workload buoying six professional services firms which were not on the previous ranking to prominence.

Analysing the anonymised actions of British-based LinkedIn members, the company determined which firms were the most attractive through four main pillars: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention. As a result of this, real estate professional services firm JLL was found to be the most attractive consulting firm to LinkedIn members in the UK.

Six most attractive professional services firms to work for in UK

Ranked sixth in the overall list of companies, 2018 saw the commercial real estate services consultancy expand its London-based Ratings practice in anticipation of growing demand for real estate valuations in the UK. JLL, which boasts a global headcount of 82,000, holds UK locations in London, Norwich and Manchester, and the firm was recently named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 12th year in a row by The Ethisphere Institute. 

Sitting 10th in LinkedIn’s ranking, Engie is a French multinational professional services firm, headquartered in La Défense, Courbevoie. While the firm primarily operates in utilities – specifically in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy and petroleum – its investment in cleaner tech has also seen it come to offer a host of engineering consulting services, including feasibility studies, engineering, project management and client support. The firm’s 19,000 UK staff work from offices in London, Leeds and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

With a global headcount of 90,000, CBRE, which was ranked 13th by LinkedIn, is a real estate advisory firm, with UK offices in London, Birmingham and Glasgow. The firm oversaw the sale of a number of major locations over the course of 2018, including a key residential site in North Leigh, and an office belonging to the British Steel Pension Fund.

Atkins, which was listed 23rd, is a British professional services firm which was purchased by the SNC-Lavalin Group for £2.1 billion in 2017. With 7,300 employees in the UK, Atkins operates from locations in London, Bristol, Kingston-upon-Thames, and offers services in engineering, operations, programme and project management. Late in 2018, the firm was named one of the top employers in the UK for working mothers, receiving plaudits for its innovation in flexible working from Workingmums.co.uk.

Schroders, a global asset management firm with UK offices in London, Bromley, Chelmsford, ranked 24th. Asset management is a fast-expanding segment of consulting, and according to LinkedIn, 43% of the professional services firm’s staff have been at the company for at least six years, while nearly a third of UK roles were filled with internal candidates in 2017. Schroders boasts a global headcount of 4,600.

Finally, multifaceted professional services firm GE was ranked 25th. The engineering, operations, information technology and advisory firm has its hand in everything from energy to health care – where it was recently nominated for a prize at the 2019 Management Consultancies Association Awards. The long-standing conglomerate said 2019 is set to be a “reset year”, while it seeks to revamp its power-related businesses at the same time that it builds on strong growth within the aviation scene.

Other sectors

Elsewhere, the financial services industry saw a high level of representation in LinkedIn’s ranking. JP Morgan was listed in second place, while Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Aviva also made the grade. This represents a decline of one listing since 2018’s figures, perhaps reflecting the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s financial sector, amid the continued twists and turns of the Brexit saga.

Retail saw a slight rebound on its decimation in last year’s ranking. Having seemingly fallen out of favour in 2018, Sainsbury’s returned this year, sitting in third place. It was joined in the top 25 by fellow ‘Big Four’ supermarket Asda – though the news that some 60,000 Asda staff could be in line to lose their paid lunch breaks under new contracts could well see the company drop off the list in 2020. Marks & Spencer also made the list. The historically up-market supermarket now runs a work-placement programme called Marks & Start, which helps single parents, people with disabilities and the homeless to build careers within the company.

Healthcare and pharmaceuticals saw three entrants in the list too. Britain’s 50 fastest-growing privately-owned pharmaceutical companies have all increased sales by at least 10% in each of their last two financial years, facing down headwinds such as Brexit and NHS spending pressures to deliver rapid growth. GSK represented the pharmaceutical sector in fourth place, while Bupa and Johnson & Johnson stood for the healthcare and hospital industry in fifth and 16th respectively.

While the technology sector ultimately hosted the ranking’s top performer, Amazon, the only other sector incumbent was Google parent company Alphabet, in 19th. Salesforce and Dell Technologies, meanwhile, dropped off the ranking, having both been present in 2018.

The oil and energy sector’s representation is supplemented by hybrid firm Engie; however, the sector only fielded two pure-play members. BP, in eighth, and Shell, in 11th, have both spent time attempting to diversify in recent years, prompted by public image crises relating to the negative impact of fossil fuels on the planet, as well declining oil prices and the rising demand for renewable energy. These dynamics have, in turn, led to new skills coming into demand within the companies. 

Finally, the list was rounded off by singular representatives of five separate industries. Representing leisure in 12th was TUI, followed by food producer Associated British Foods (17th), building materials firm Travis Perkins (20th), telecommunications giant BT (21st) and utilities firm Centrica (22nd).