Consulting is considered to be a tough business, no matter the field. The fact that it falls under the service industry takes the toughness a notch higher. One of the biggest reason why it is perceived so is because there is no solid product offering, rather what offering is recommended is, advice. Consultants work with their clients to provide them the most viable solution to their problems.
When it comes to IT consulting, the challenges increase even further. Given that IT is an industry which requires a very in-depth knowledge and the problems that arise in the IT industry are also unique, being on top requires round-the-clock efforts.
Probably the biggest concern for any IT consulting firm is getting new clients. Since the clients, they work with hire their services on a contractual basis and there is no long term continuity. Another issue to watch out for is complacency, if the firm gets too comfortable with the project at hand they may not look out for newer clients.
However, one challenge that this field faces is sourcing good quality talent. Employees today are constantly looking for new challenges and expect to have greater participation in the projects they’re assigned to. They like to be included in the decision-making process and look beyond traditional compensation like salary and incentives for their efforts. So IT consulting firms have to constantly lookout for projects that are challenging and unique. Even though the IT consulting space is a tough business, yet there are many firms operating in the field. In such a scenario it becomes important for firms to differentiate themselves on the back of their innovation. Innovation could be in terms of technology, way of doing business, ideation process or execution of the plan. Firms need to constantly be successful with their innovative techniques in order to make a name for themselves and stand out.
In the consulting business, it is never certain what kind of a problem the firm is presented with. Because of this uncertainty, they have to constantly employ a different skill-set to suit the needs of a particular client. This proves to be difficult at times because it may require training employees before commencing the project to make them adept with the skills required or the firm may have to specially hire individuals for a particular project on a contract basis. This often results in a significant investment in terms of time and money for the firm.
One very unprecedented issue that firms sometimes face is language barriers. A firm’s client may be from anywhere around the world and not being able to communicate in a common language could prove to be a problem, even fatal at times. There is always the fear of miscommunication. The client may have demanded something but due to language differences, the firm may have interpreted it differently and such a thing could hamper the end result.
Even though the IT consulting field faces these issues, the need for IT consulting will never cease to be. Firms operating in other industries will always require the help of experts to solve their problems and come up with innovative solutions.