Big Four firms grab 20% of digital consulting business

The Big Four accounting firms have carved out a 21% share of the total global revenue from digital transformation consulting, which was estimated to be worth $23bn (£18bn) in 2016, with Deloitte dominating the market, according to Source Global Research

The worldwide digital transformation consulting market is now twice the size of the UK’s domestic £9bn consulting market, with Deloitte at the top of the ranking with 12% of the market, carrying out more work than any other global consulting firm.

Digital transformation consulting (DTC) services are strategy and transformation consulting services supporting senior business stakeholders, such as CEOs, COOs, chief marketing officers (CMOs) and other business leaders. Specific capabilities, according to the Gartner IT glossary, include consulting services for digital strategy and transformation, digital operations, and digital customer experience.

Edward Haigh, director of Source Global Research, said: ‘Deloitte sits at the top of the digital transformation market for work, but towards the bottom of the ranking in terms of client sentiment - so it does a very good job of converting what positive sentiment exists into market share.

‘Deloitte is not alone in pulling off this trick - it’s something that the Big Four, as a group, appear to do more effectively than anyone else.

‘However, if we accept that client sentiment may be a leading indicator for future market share, then the Big Four firms have a serious challenge on their hands, while strategy and technology firms appear better placed.’

The report suggests the UK digital transformation consulting represents 23% (£2.26bn) of the entire consulting market, compared with 20% in the US ($11.79bn), and 21% in Australia ($996m/£582m).

Haigh suggests that the Big Four may be able to continue to leverage their expertise, saying: ‘Although our research finds that the strategy firms are best placed for the next phase of digital transformation work, they have not yet asserted themselves on the market. Going forward, no matter which firm type you are, your reputation with the board and your ability to advise clients about their business model will matter most.’

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