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IT Consulting/Software Consulting/ Computer Operations Consulting, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

One of the fastest-growing segments of consulting has been information technology (IT).  This segment includes consultants focused on e-commerce; telecommunications; intranet and internet strategies and functionality; hardware systems design and implementation; software design, acquisition and implementation; and web site design and operation.  More recently, a great deal of IT consulting has been focused on cloud computing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), mobile app development, and the mobile environment in general, including tools for the mobile workforce.
The Coronavirus pandemic had the effect of accelerating the adoption of online communications and transactions as an alternative to in-person activity.  (For example, online banking showed tremendous growth as did telemedicine and e-commerce).  Today’s largest IT consulting firms typically provide outsourced IT services of many types.  In fact, successful consultancies with IT hardware roots have evolved into full-service companies.  In many cases, they are now integral departments within larger technology-based firms.  Computer giant IBM best illustrates this trend, as services now bring in more revenues for IBM than the sale of computer hardware and software.
At such tech firms, a large portion of income is derived from outsourcing.  That is, once these IT services firms have determined a client’s needs during a consulting or analysis phase, they may deliver turnkey services that include actual day-to-day operation of the client’s computer department and/or other departments.  Not all of IBM’s competitors have been as successful as IBM in this regard.  Meanwhile, many companies outside of the computer hardware and software field have successfully blended consulting and outsourcing into their offerings, developing dependable additional revenue sources by offering a complete line of services to their clients.
A major development in IT consulting has been the extremely rapid growth of large companies that are based in India but compete globally, such as Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).  These companies quickly grew multi-billion-dollar revenue bases as major contenders in the global IT sector.  Additional hot competition for IT consulting budgets comes from software companies, such as Oracle, that have quickly built-up large consulting units of their own.

For the mid-term, the biggest opportunities for IT consulting growth will lie in these areas:
1)        Big data, data mining and predictive analytics
2)        Cloud-based IT infrastructure and Internet of Things (IoT)
3)        FinTech (including online banking and payments)
4)        Mobile apps and data services
5)        Cybersecurity, data and network security and reliability
6)        Artificial Intelligence (AI)
7)        Ecommerce (online transactions of all types)
8)        Digital identities and secure log in
9)        Supply chain-related technologies, including warehouse automation
10)     Factory automation-related technologies
Source: Plunkett Research, Ltd.

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