August 5, 2011 – New research from IDC reports consulting services are stable and growing globally.

Despite the economic challenges of the past several years, the worldwide business consulting industry remained steady and will continue to do so in the 2010–2015 forecast period. Globalization, developing economies and issues of risk, security and compliance are expected to positively impact the market.

The report author says the study’s market sizing suggests “consulting services is currently strong across verticals - with large and niche players competing in every segment,” says Cushing Anderson, program vice president, business consulting services research, IDC.

“Consulting tends to grow above industry growth rate when the vertical growth rate is cyclically slow or slightly negative, as firms try to stay ahead of the competition,” says Anderson. “The consulting industry grows slightly behind industry growth when industries have robust growth because firms feel there is little benefit in consulting in a rising tide.”

The report identified some key obstacles to successful consulting services, including issues of scope, duration, organizational change and resources. In general, many projects lack funding and support and take too long to realize value. Culture can be an issue, as change is often unpopular. Continuity of project leadership and lack of internal or external resources leave consulting projects with incomplete objectives, IDC showed.

IDC offers strategies to overcome the challenges of consulting in the sector. For example, firms need an employee strategy that invests in career customization programs for a variety of tracks and that also aims to retain advanced talent. IDC says to monitor client satisfaction that is industry and functionally specific for trend identification and guidance purposes.

Consultants’ offering capabilities should align well with current market needs and demands, and were evaluated on this basis. Of additional importance and which factored into evaluation was that capabilities maximize the connection between offerings and customers, such as via delivery, partnerships, pricing, distribution, marketing, sales and service.

The research was conducted though evaluating companies’ key measures for success. IDC rated vendors with points based on how they achieved objectives related to business strategy, as well as offerings, go-to-market and business capabilities.

The report, IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Talent Related Business Consulting 2011 Vendor Analysis is available from IDC. The worldwide talent-related business consulting services market study was specific to public sector business consulting. Public sector in this research relates to consulting with local, regional, national or transnational entities that are substantially funded by public funds. IDC notes that public sector has unique requirements, such as high visibility, diverse and complex problems and the need for increased performance but with decreasing tax revenue.

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