20 APRIL 2017 Consulting®
By Ismail Amla
Disruption. As consultants, we love to talk about how radical technology shifts are disrupting everything—the markets we work in, the clients we work with and the world we live in. But what
about consulting itself? Surely our industry is facing
massive disruption with the introduction of technology platforms, like Hourlynerd and Experfy, which are
connecting highly skilled individuals with companies
using a whole new model. Will the birth of the Gig
Economy mean the death of generalist consulting?
In order to understand the future of consulting, we
have to think about the future customer and the future
client. Fast forward and imagine opening your eyes in
the morning and your Smarthouse, using advanced biometrics to sense you’re awake, begins to hum to life.
Heat purrs, coffee brews, lights adjust, music plays.
The morning news appears as a hologram, hovering
at just the right height over your bed, allowing you to
thumb through stories with each virtual swipe.
In natural language, you rattle off endless asks to
a virtual digital assistant, and expect accuracy, and
creativity, back. What’s the weather going to be?
How’s the traffic? Where are the kids? ‘Susie and
Joe are safely on the bus on the way to school. Don’t
worry—I reminded them to bring jackets, because it
is going to be cool this afternoon.’ Great. ‘Oh and by
the way, you’ve been offered a discount on that SUV
you’ve been looking at. Partnerships the manufacturer
has with Auto Lending and Insurance providers have
made the package much more attractive.’ Thanks.
So yes, whether it’s insights on health, advice on
finances or recommendations on a car—the customer
of tomorrow will want complete information delivered
beautifully and with ease. But that’s not all. He/she will
expect suggestions that offer the absolute best option
for them, personally, taking into account pretty much
every aspect of their lives. The fact is that the ability
to unite, analyze and share unfathomable amounts of
information is, for the first time, allowing service pro-
viders not just a means to generate revenue—but the
ability to make people’s lives better—and the customer
of tomorrow will settle for nothing less.
Smart start-ups know this. Many Fin Techs are basing their business models on the economic concept
of holistic financial health. In Fin Tech economics, or
‘FinTechonomics’, the ultimate goal of a Financial
Service provider is to contribute to the financial health
of consumers, and to improving their lives. This in turn
creates the opportunity to sell additional financial (and
other) services to grow customer loyalty. In this age
of explosive data and transparency, if you are not providing your customer—retail, wholesale, corporate or
commercial—the optimum solution that contributes to
their overall health, they will leave for someone who
can. It’s called disintermediation and it’s changing the
industries in which we work.
Delivering this level of service is no small feat. To
succeed, our clients must take into consideration all
aspects of a customer’s life in real-time, and digitally
The Future of Consulting