Global Technology Services
Technology, consulting, talent
Opportunities offered from government stimulus money are huge. Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory estimates that the global demand for stimulus-generated consulting $12 billion in 2010.
Many consulting and business advisory services firms have positioned themselves to take advantage of the money flowing into the economy this year.:
* Accenture has formed a new Health & Public Service operating group to focus on and expand services to their health care, government and public service clients.
* The Carlyle Group, with its purchase of Booz Allen’s government-related services, clearly sees a significant opportunity in the public sector.
* Northrup Grumman has spun off its IT services business in order to avoid conflicts of interest with its defense work and to capitalize on the coming upsurge in stimulus-generated IT services work.
* Multi-services consulting firms are positioning their commercial practices to help private-sector clients make the most of stimulus opportunities in healthcare, energy, transportation, clean tech, infrastructure, and financial services.
Despite a flat economy, we are seeing executive job-seekers entertaining multiple offers.
In the US, foreign firms that are pursuing the public sector market through acquisitions or start-ups are heating up the competition for an already limited pool of talent. UK-based Serco, for example, closed a deal for SI International and announced its intention to seek larger federal contracts.
Meanwhile, many US-based companies are looking abroad where more centralized and simpler health care systems offer opportunities for creating a track record in, for example, transforming electronic health records. To help lead the effort they are aggressively recruiting nationals in those countries.
Individual consultants are also repositioning themselves, just as they did during the first wave of e-commerce or Y2K. Gone are the days when consultants in the commercial sector said disdainfully, “I don’t do government work.”
Given the shortage of people who genuinely possess both public and commercial expertise, we will see far more integrated practice models. For example, firms may adopt a “two-in-the-box” approach. In public and commercial practices, two-person teams consisting of a government expert and an industry expert would work as one – leading the practice, leading engagements, and even going on client calls together.
Consulting companies still have time to develop the requisite operating models and harness the right talent. But when the trickle becomes a flood it will be too late.
With the opportunities expected to last for several years, there’s no reason that consultancies or their clients should miss out. Again, the key for both will be to understand how to take full advantage of the stimulus programs.