IT Consulting services are one of the fastest growing IT services. IT consulting has now become a ‘sought after’ service, due to the following reasons. In-house teams are either hard-pressed for time to attend to complex IT issues or do not have the necessary expertise. Similarly companies are particular about availing the services of an external consultant, who can add value. On certain occasions, companies have benefited by improving their service offerings, with the services of an IT consultant.
Consulting firms offer IT strategy consultancy, IT services outsourcing and Project Management services, apart from mainstream IT consultancy services. Some of the firms offer services on highly specialized areas like Program management. Therefore, it is important for IT firms to asses if they need the services of a generalist or a specialist. In the last five years, not many IT firms have signed mega deals. Volumes do not make an impact anymore as many IT firms choose vendors on the basis of specialist edge. Even some of the Request for Proposals’ (RFP’s) specifies that only pure-play consultants should apply to the proposals. Therefore, there is a huge increase in the demand for specialist IT consulting companies. There are still a percentage of IT firms that prefer to avail the services of a generalist, though such deals are gradually decreasing.
Surveys have repeatedly indicated the importance of IT consultancy services. IT consulting spends have seen a manifold increase. There is also an emphasis to spend less on IT consulting and get optimal benefits. IT firms have also increased the expectations from consultants. Companies also expect IT consultants to provide staffing services. IT consultants have better access to resources with specialist skills and also employ them in highly scalable models. Since these resources are not contractors, but employees of the consultants working in the client’s office, the IT firms do not have to comply with contractor obligations. Therefore, they avail the services of cost-effective resources.
It is not a compulsion to outsource operations to a supplier and also avail the services of their IT consultants. However, there are competitive advantages in outsourcing operations to a supplier and engaging the services of their IT consultants. Co-sourcing mode of engagement is preferable to a traditional outsourcing model and an IT firm can employ the resources of the supplier to work along with their employees. This helps them to retain business control and also get specialist skills on demand.