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High-tech firms provide boost to consulting industry

Data privacy and the shift to service-based models are some of the areas where companies such as Google and Apple are turning to consultants for support, according to a new report

Large technology companies have provided a massive boost to the consulting market as they expanded their use of services in the past couple of years, according to a new report.

In the technology, media and telecom (TMT) sector, high-tech companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google drove most of the business, with revenues rising 13.4% to US$4.8bn and growing by US$1bn in the past two years, according to a study by professional services analyst firm Source Global Research.

By comparison, the global TMT consulting market grew at a slower pace, at 8.8% to US$12.9bn in 2018. According to the report, high-tech firms have increased their demands for consulting for risk and regulatory projects, especially when it comes to data privacy.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was a “game changer” for consulting firms, it added, as it generated a lot of work when the regulations were enforced in May 2018, and that continues to be the case as companies want ongoing support to ensure compliance of products and services.

In addition, the report noted that other areas where high-tech firms have been looking to hire consultants for back office transformation projects, with a growing demand for managed services. Another task where they are looking for consultant support is for the shift to service-based technology offerings.

“The transition from one-off single-sale revenue structures to longer-term subscription sales models – often with lower upfront prices – is a complicated one that requires consulting firms to support through every stage of this transition,” the report said.

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The study also noted high-tech companies such as Apple and Google are also turning to consultants for support in shifting manufacturing operations out of China into locations such as India and South East Asia.

“Consultants are benefiting from high-tech companies seeking support to shift these complex manufacturing operations, and explore how to rethink and protect their wider supply chains,” it concluded.

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