Consulting segment?

Professionals who have decided to commence a consultancy career should face the following question early in their orientation process: ‘Which segment within consultancy suits me?’ Generally, six areas of advising are distinguished in the active consultancy field.

In the past years, the advisory branch of consultancy has developed into one of the most mature area of business in the professional services. Nowadays, six key domains can be distinguished within the consultancy landscape, all of which incorporate both lending as well as the provision of services in more than 200 sectors and industries. The six domains are: Strategy Consulting, Management Consulting, Operations Consulting, Financial Advisory, HR Consulting and IT Consulting.

Strategy Consulting

Strategy Consulting is the collective name for all the areas in which consultants focus on strategic concerns. In general, clients hire strategy consultants for support and to draft and implement business strategies, mergers and acquisitions, client strategies, organisational strategy, IT strategy and economic policy.

Among the high potential graduates working in strategy, consulting represents the ultimate dream, in which they deal with complex challenges for high impact clients. For obvious reasons, strategy consultancy offices apply strict criteria with regard to possible candidates who, besides excellent C.V.s, also earned high exam results in both higher education and during their academic studies. Strategy consulting is known in the market for the long hours that professionals spend on working, which is rewarded by high earnings and a compelling working environment. 

Management Consulting

Management Consulting, also referred to as Business Consulting or Organisational Advice, is defined as ‘advice and/or implementation services to management toward improving effective business strategies, operating models and operational processes.’ Management consulting is the broadest area in the consultancy market due to the huge diversity in industries and variety in necessary competencies of advisors, and comprises of 50% to 55% of the total consulting market. Services that are generally considered ones of management consulting are: Operations Consulting, Finance Consulting, Change Management, Supply Chain Management, Outsourcing Advisory and HR Consulting.

Operations Consulting

Operations Consulting, or Operations Management, comprises of advice and implementation services that improve the level of operation and performance in organisations. Consulting projects within operations management work at achieving a more efficient operation for clients by advising and supporting during the change implementation process of organisations. The focus points are functional operational processes, management systems, company culture along with other elements that relate to the value chain.

Consultants in-the-making who want to take a plunge at operational concerns such as developing and implementing cost-reduction programmes, optimising service delivery models and detailed design and implementation of business transformations, are at the right place working in operations consulting.

Financial Advisory

The Financial Advisory (or Financial Consulting) segment delivers consulting services that are of strongly analytic nature. This segment covers a variety of offered services, which include transaction services, risk management, tax advice, real estate, compliance and litigating services. 

The market for financial advisory services specifically consists of eight disciplines: transaction services, corporate finance, crisis & recovery, risk management, account services, tax advice, real estate services and forensics & litigation. Originally, the market for financial advisory services were dominated by companies with a background in tax and audit services like major accounting and advising organisations. Although in the last few years years, companies from other segments such as strategy consultancy, process specialisation, economic expertise and IT agencies have developed and expanded their competency in these matters.

Upcoming consultancy talents with a financial background, or with an affinity to financial concerns will tie in nicely to the Financial Advisory segment.

HR Consulting

Human Resource (HR) Consulting, also sometimes referred to as Human Capital Advice or HRM consulting, is a collective term for all advice and implementation activities related to managing human capital and the HR departments within organisations. The HR advising landscape varies from overarching work; like in the area of human resources strategy, the design and development of a compensation & benefits framework, to activities on the work floor; like transforming the HR department. The HR Consulting market is also made up of eight key disciplines: human capital strategy, compensation & benefits, organisation change, HR department, talent management, HR analytics, learning & development and HR technology.

A logical progression for (Young) professionals with a background in Human Resources or HRM, is to advance their career in the HR consulting segment within the advisory branch.

IT Consulting

Technology Consulting, or else IT / ICT Consulting or Technology Advising, is an advice segment that focusses on advising companies on how best to use information technology (IT) in order to achieve their company goals. IT Consulting contains both advice as well as implementation services, but does not focus on transaction activities within IT. The market for IT consulting is also made up of eight disciplines: IT strategy, ICT architecture, IT implementation, ERP services, system integration, data analytics, IT security and software management.

Graduating talents with a passion for IT and communication technology with wide base of IT knowledge are in the right place in the IT consulting domain. In most cases, completing an IT study is a prerequisite for a consultancy career in IT consulting, while for many organisations it’s an absolute requirement.