The challenges of digital transformation for consultancy

... were the subject of the 16th annual FFHS Business Breakfast on April 6th at the "Spitz" bistro at the National Museum in Zurich. Lena Kirsch was on-site with colleagues and summarized the most important points.

What was exciting?

Both the challenges of digital transformation for companies by example of SBB, corporate expectations of external consultants and the accompanying challenges of the same consultancy firms were presented and subsequently discussed on the podium in three exciting presentations. 

Against this backdrop, Dr. Jochen Decker, Chief Architect and member of SBB IT management, Volker Scholz, Managing Partner of mm1 and Sebastian Straus, Department Manager for Information Systems and IoT at FFHS along with Senior Manager at mm1, presented their perspectives on the altered role of consultation due to digitalization from the perspective of the customer, consultancy firm and science.

Companies like SBB regard digital transformation as far more than just merely automating processes. According to their understanding, it is a disruptive change in their entire business. As such, digital transformation is an "ongoing cultural process that requires continuous change".

Even the classic consultancy business changes in many aspects:

  • Consulting has lost its appeal: When competing for talented, new blood, consultancy firms no longer compete with just investment banks (as still was the case a few years ago) but also with the charming spirit of agile startups.
  • Customers themselves have become more technically competent, and relevant information and insights that were compiled by consultants in the past are quickly and easily available via many different channels.
  • The classic consultancy business no longer works – to put it bluntly: "It’s not just about talk anymore, but also action". In order to also be perceived as credible partners for companies in the future, external consultancy firms are expanding both their value chain and their expertise, thereby meeting the need for hybrid consultancy that combines the aspects of business models, process management and special knowledge in digital domains.

Companies’ expectations of external consultants are clearly formulated:

  • External consultants need to understand the clients’ businesses and must be able to challenge and innovate the business model in collaboration with the clients. An understanding of business, and not technology, is the key to success.
  • Companies would like an honest partner with which to go down the path of experimentation as part of digital transformation.

With a deep business understanding and honest collaboration by the customers’ side combined with an expansion of the in-house value chain and expertise, external consultants will also be valuable partners in the future for companies that go down the path of digital transformation.

mm1 assists you with defining, assessing and innovating digital business models along with execution in the business processes so that you can detect the opportunities of digital transformation at an early stage and use them for your business.