Disruptive Innovation Skunk at the Consultant Lawn Party

Disruptive Innovation Skunk at the Traditional Consultant Lawn Party

A funny thing is happening on the way to the future for major consulting firms. They smell trouble!
Sometimes that means fresh new ideas for extracting insight from all this big data piling up using techniques like pattern, text, semantic or visual link analysis or Internet of Things (IoT) platforms that obsolete older desktop software packages in favor of integrated cloud-based data, models, analytics tools and visualization that vastly improve the user experience. 

For many including some of the biggest and best known brand names in the consulting business—it still means silo behavior that fragments the business into traditional vertical practices, depends upon solo subject matter experts or dusts off a proposal template from the last project to apply to the next.

The difference between these two types of consulting firms is the first group is throwing open the doors encouraging clients and prospects to BYOD—bring your own field operating data and business pain points and use our fast, easy and user-friendly cloud solutions (no software required) to extract the insight and plan your business future.

Too often still traditional consulting firms live off the billable hours’ dependence upon large enterprise system design or implementation. They want to solve your business process problem the old fashioned way by throwing people at it—lots of people. It is still a great gig when you can get one—but disruptive innovation technology is rapidly eating the margins and eroding the market share for this type of business in favor of the software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that endlessly adapt and change to meet changing needs.

Are you worried?

There is plenty of good news in this disruptive innovation transformation underway. Technology is democratizing a lot of complex solutions improving accessibility. Here in the US we are actually really good at disruptive innovation. We’re using it to throw open those doors of change. We’re using it to ‘Occupy business’ as Saas and PaaS and IoT work their way through value chains speeding things up, sweating out fat and aggravation and enabling new technologies to reform old business models, business process, and business thinking.

There was a time not too long ago when technology was seen as a threat that limited competition rather than enabled it. Remember, when the US Government and the EU went after Microsoft for anti-competitive reasons for having the audacity of bundling Internet Explorer into Windows? Today government regulations (the EU’s new anti-trust action against Google, for example) not technology are more often the limiting factor in our path to economic progress. We used to fight legislative battles in Congress and State Legislatures, today we invent disruptive innovation alternatives that moot the issue entirely.  So what does this have to do with traditional consulting?

The Consulting Business is a Makers’ Market future!

Disruptive innovation technology is transforming traditional consulting into a makers’ marketplace where clients bring their own data, collaborate for expertise, leverage cloud based computing capabilities and advanced analytics tools to ‘grow their own solutions’ that plug and play nicely with others using standardized solution modules and platforms that work together interoperably. In a market where everyone wants to be a maker there is a growing need for teachers, product builders, tool-makers, subject matter experts and master mechanics—the cloud is our marketplace, factory, library and super-computer.

Will the consulting firms be ready for this future?  Or will they be like the ‘aging knight in rusty armor’ in that Comcast commercial peddling its new home energy security service on TV? That is the question!

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