The consulting industry is one of the most lucrative, prestigious, and rapidly growing sectors in the professional services field. It generates hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenues and has been internationalized since the early 1960s, when large American management consultancies expanded to Europe. Consulting companies can have one or thousands of employees and can provide inquiries in a wide range of domains, such as administration, engineering, and more. In recent years, the profits of consulting firms have increased dramatically, leading executives to authorize new consulting projects whenever they see potential for a good return on cost. Organizations have taken great strides in developing their internal advisory and implementation units, creating in-house consulting and project management teams, and developing typical “consulting” capabilities in key departments, functions, and process areas.
Companies around the world are increasingly relying on consulting to thrive in a more complex and disruptive economic, social, and technological world. In addition to consultants working in the consulting industry, advisors are increasingly performing consultant roles outside the consulting industry. A consulting firm, or simply consulting, is a professional services firm that provides expertise and specialized labor for a fee. It uses its networking capabilities (due to its high number of clients) to connect actors in activities such as M&A. Consulting services are part of the tertiary sector and represent several hundred billion dollars in annual revenues.
Little is known about the exact global size of the “in-house consulting” industry, but estimates range widely. The need to accelerate change in global consulting is no longer an option but a necessity. From an ethical point of view, it is important for customers to know what type or types of services they are hiring since consulting services should be a complementary service for the client company while subcontracting aims to replace parts of the client company that are essential for its operational capacity. With the arrival of rapidly growing areas such as digital consulting, innovative disruption, and financial technology, the pace of change will accelerate even more.