2022 Predictions for Consultants

7-Jan 2022
1517487487102
Stephani Fitzsimmons SENIOR CONTENT MANAGER

The consulting industry has grown exceptionally and is not looking back. While we saw increased use of high-tech methods in the past couple of years, consultants still need to step up their digitization game. In 2022, they can't strive in the industry without integrating automatization and big data processes.

Attracting new clients and remaining competitive as the market continues to become saturated is a feat only attainable by leveraging the right resources and technologies. Tools will allow the smart consultant to free up time for building stronger client relationships and allowing for more creative solutions. Clients are expecting consultants in 2022 to be a lot more hands on, more proactive, more pragmatic. Consultants will need to be prepared to show their understanding and empathy for the business, demonstrating a new level of commitment and investment.

Digitalization of Business Operations

This goes without saying: Digitization is the future of every business. In 2022, expect to see an increased digital response when it comes to improved business operations, organizational structure, and services. Management consulting agencies will continue to be more labor-driven as tech consulting agencies move towards continued digitization

Many consulting agencies have already started to put confidence in digital technologies for research, analysis, management, and facilitation of processes. However, it's still hard for some consultancies to adapt to these digital integrations. For that, they need to develop precise and comprehensive strategies to transform their existing business models with the pace of today's world. As businesses across multiple industries recognize growth through automation, consultants advising businesses cannot remain behind the times. Automated analytics improve business processes faster and more effectively than before - empowering consultants to show value much quicker. There are a large number of systems out there, but when it comes to consulting, a client work management platform offers a complete solution. 

Greater Demand for Consulting Services

To date, more than 700,000 consulting firms are operating worldwide. This demand for consulting isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Agencies are providing services across information technology (IT), finance, human resources (HR), strategy formulation, taxation, and business operations. 

The management consulting industry continues to grow throughout the years, as its 4.1% growth rate showed in 2020. Today, the industry stands with a net worth of $250 billion. Expect this niche to continue growing in 2022 with the rise of the freelance consulting industry and the use of newer technologies. 

US and UK Remain Hotspots

Experts are predicting the global management consulting market will grow from $891.88 billion in 2021 to $973.67 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2%. The market is expected to reach $1320.94 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 7.9%. 

As this massive, highly profitable industry grows globally, the US and UK continue to be hotspots, exhibiting the largest and fastest growth rates. The DACH region - made up of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland - will be one to watch in 2022. The area has been positioning itself for some time as the place for consulting firms and although they battled through pandemic instability, it has yet to be seen how the region will compete against the UK. 

More Diverse Talent Pool

Gone are the days when consulting companies only accepted graduates of prestigious universities. Now, the world focuses more on skill sets and experience than degrees from top schools. Although a bachelor's degree is still required for students to get an entry-level job, companies in 2022 can look beyond higher education and consider other characteristics that make someone a perfect fit for a job or project. 

Some recruiters are also expected to enlist new methods of qualifying candidates - virtual games, presentation exercises, and quizzes - to reveal the candidate’s skills and aptitude. This will open up a new pool of qualified candidates eligible for employment. The hiring process is going to be transformed in 2022.  

Crowdsourcing for the Enterprise

Crowdsourcing typically refers to collecting funds, services, or ideas from a large number of people, specifically through social media or online communities. Crowdsourcing has become a popular way to drive skilled individuals towards new concepts, connections, and opportunities. 

With the increase in global connectivity and mobility, it was only a matter of time before this approach made its way into the HR domain, opening up the talent pool worldwide and in key markets. It is an effective way to find and acquire top talent with the help of referrals through social media platforms. Recruiters can inform their network and connected networks that they are hiring, getting the message in front of a larger audience. According to a TimesJob survey, 58% of organizations use crowdsourcing to hire new talent. Out of them, 48% believe that it is an effective method to hire or source skilled individuals. 

A driving factor of crowdsourcing is the ability to acquire necessary products and services with little to no overhead. Consulting agencies in 2022 should understand and implement this method offering up time savings and cost efficiency. 

Multi-Sourcing Model Continues

Multi-sourcing has remained a challenge for most consulting firms since the beginning. Yet, the industry continues to adopt the multi-sourcing model. It simply refers to consultancy firms working with other niche firms or similar consultancies. 

There are multiple ways for a consultancy to adopt the multi-sourcing model. Some large generalist agencies can partner with small niche professionals. Some management consultancies can collaborate with specialists outside the industry. Consultancies can also partner with education agencies, digital firms, and tech companies.   

Fortunately, implementing the multi-sourcing model has also become easier in today's world. With the increasing metaverse and virtual reality trend, businesses can build better relationships with other agencies. Consultants in 2022 don't need to worry much about the difficulties of adopting the multi-sourcing model and should instead simply embrace the opportunities. 

Final Thoughts - Creativity and Agility Will Win

Businesses are grappling with a lot of change, with many needing to completely shift their business models and structure. Challenges around labor shortages, supply chain issues and productivity losses only continue to grow, creating more need and opportunity for consultants to show value. Successful consultants will move and adapt with their clients at a much faster rate this year - this will be impossible without having their own consulting businesses set up for success. Consultants can no longer rest on their laurels, heavy emphasis needs to be on efficiency, with effective client work management being a great contributor to profitability. 

Ready to discuss these predictions further? Visit Accelo's LinkedIn to share your thoughts and industry insights for 2022.

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