IT Consulting

IT consulting, also referred to as technology consulting, relates to services aimed at helping clients on how they can utilise their information technology (IT) to optimally achieve their business goals. The IT consulting segment contains both advisory and implementation services, although the latter represents the overlarge majority of the market's size. Examples of IT consulting services include business process automation, digital risk management, systems implementationa and IT enterprise security. 

IT consulting services

The market for IT consulting services consists of six main disciplines: IT Advisory, ERP Services, Data Analytics, Software Management, Systems Integration and Enterprise Architecture. An overview of the key expertise areas per discipline: 

IT consulting market

The market for IT consulting services is estimated to be worth $48.2 billion, which comes down to approximately 21% of the global consulting market. Following an increase in demand in 2011 and 2012, growth rates are forecasted to decline further every year between 2012 and 2015. Overall the outlook remains for IT consulting positive though, mainly the result of interest in large technology trends such as social media, analytics, mobile and cloud.

Note that the definitions applied for IT consulting play a central role in the size assigned to the market. Kennedy – the source followed by – defines IT consulting in a relatively narrow manner, as a result the market is valued at less than a quarter of the industry. Other analysts typically apply a broader definition, and therefore they value IT consulting at between 40% to 50% of the market*. Irrespective of the exact metrics followed, there is consenses on two main principles: IT consulting excludes repeatable services (distinguishing it from the IT industry) and outsourced services. 


What does an IT consultant do?

IT consultants are hired by clients to support them with using information technology in order to meet business objectives or overcome problems. The type of work can range from strategic (such as developing a new IT strategy or Big Data approach for strategic goals) to tactical (such as the implementation of an ERP system or the selection of an IT system) to highly operational (such as the development of a mobile application). 

IT consulting firms

As IT is increasingly more important as an enabler for realising business goals, consulting firms have in general over the past decade or so both broadened and deepened their IT capabilities. Analysts typically distinguish between three types of IT consulting firms: the large global players that specialise in Information Technology, firms that have a separate IT consulting unit and niche IT players - local players that either focus on a specific discipline or market.

See the 'Technology' section under Consulting Firms for a list of renowned IT consulting firms.