Arguably the most significant change that businesses in the modern era have experienced is the use of technology. In the past, technology only supplemented business strategy and operations. In the present (and the future), business strategy and operations are wholly dependent on technology. As technology continues to evolve and advance, new business models emerge, and new legislation requires more care and attention to detail.
Consulting firms must be familiar with all of the latest technology and know-how to implement it within the industries that they serve. They must also remain up-to-date on all the latest technology trends and news to stay relevant. A few examples of technology that a consulting firm has to be familiar with in this day and age include:
Keeping Up With Google
There aren’t many businesses that don’t market their brand online, which means that understanding SEO (search engine optimization) and how Google ranks pages is essential. However, it’s not just a matter of “understanding” the rules and abiding by them. Google uses an algorithm that regularly changes to deliver better search results to its users. The way Google ranks pages has changed drastically over the years. Consulting firms need to keep up with how Google evolves so that they can implement the best inbound marketing practices for their clients.
Artificial intelligence (AI) was once science fiction, but today it’s found almost everywhere, whether in the form of self-driving cars and virtual assistants (such as Siri and Alexa) or chatbots and process automation. AI solutions are commonplace and can help businesses better understand their customers. AI allows businesses to make informed business decisions and identify trends as well as forecast events. A consulting firm that doesn’t understand AI or doesn’t know how to implement AI tools effectively is already falling behind the times.
While many companies are capable of using basic analytics (social channels such as Facebook even provide their own analytics tools), advanced analytics is even more challenging. A consulting firm needs not only to analyze data and to turn it into actionable insights but also to ensure that data is from all potential data sources and is accurate.
Cybersecurity is a growing need among businesses — especially smaller companies that may not have the in-house resources to implement an effective cybersecurity system. Smaller and mid-sized companies tend to be more vulnerable to data breaches as well because larger companies invest millions into their cybersecurity, making them difficult to hack.
A good consulting firm needs to be able to perform a security audit to identify potential vulnerabilities. They must also have a plan for addressing security breaches as quickly as possible to limit potential damage. Staying up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity measures and challenges is vital since cybercriminals are continually working on getting around existing measures.
A consulting firm needs to be familiar with new technology, but they also need to stay abreast of any new legislative regulations regarding these new technologies. Without knowledge of the latest legislative regulations, consulting firms can’t help their clients solve the potential liability challenges that emerge as a result of implementing certain new technologies.