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Automation Tools and Benefits for Consultants

How Consultants Can Benefit from AI and Automation

There are many automation benefits for consultants. The digital revolution, paired with a global pandemic, has transformed consulting as we know it. Consulting firms are increasingly going digital and turning to automation tools to reduce laborious tasks, speed up time to value and stay ahead of the competition.

Automation is the weapon consulting firms need to use to survive. Let’s look at why consulting is going digital, how to bring automation to a consulting business, and why it’s not just a good idea to do so – but also critical for success and longevity.

Consultants who want to be in business in five years need to automate their business.

Why Bring Automation to your Consultancy?

We are constantly hearing success stories about automation making lives so much easier. Take, for example, the marketing profession: marketers have plenty of technological tools at their disposal – such as CRMs and CMSs, to make their jobs easier and automate tedious tasks and processes. However, up until recently, consultants have been living in the equivalent of the technological Stone Age, using multiple tools to run their processes, such as excel spreadsheets, project management tools, and word docs for gathering requirements. Why should consultants be left to cobble archaic tools together when the rest of the world is reaping the benefits of automation? Ironically, consultants driving automation for their clients, yet they are still relying on manual processes and tools.

Consulting businesses have a huge opportunity right now – in the form of automating their services and offerings. Our world is transforming, and our business processes are becoming more agile. Smaller consulting businesses, are more agile and able to adopt new technologies with higher success to automate and streamline their processes. Innovative consultants like Intraprise TechKnowlogies take their niche expertise, combine it with solutions that streamline their evaluation process, and reap the benefits. They may even have a leg up on the ‘Big Five’  consulting agencies, which still use spreadsheets and outdated waterfall methods to evaluate solutions and tend to be less agile due to their size. Still on the fence about automating your consulting business? Let’s run through the top benefits:

Top Benefits to Automating your Consultancy

1. Automation reduces time to value

Traditionally, identifying the right stakeholders is a painstakingly long process, including nterviewing & surveying stakeholders, shadowing them to understand their perspective, pain points, needs, and wants. This information is manually tracked in word docs, spreadsheets, or project management tools. The result is countless meetings, resulting in misalignment of expectations and a lack of forward thinking. Automation simplifies this process. Using the right automation software that facilitates easier collaboration can make this process more streamlined and far less tedious and ultimately gets you to implementation faster.

2. Using automation technology strengthens your business strategy and offers a differentiator

Today’s business strategy is technology-enabled, so consultants need to leverage technology to inform strategy. When technology is used correctly, it can help companies achieve their goals and deliver measurable results. If automation is an integral part of business strategy, exponential growth will occur.
Your niche expertise in conjunction with an automation tool that helps streamline processes associated with evaluating solutions helps you stand out.

3. Automation allows you to do more with less

Bringing automation to your consulting business can help you do more with fewer resources. This may mean you can take on more clients with the same amount of existing resources or spend more time with your family.

Opportunities and Automation Benefits for Consultants

The benefits of going digital are vast in nature. There are many opportunities out there for consultants who decide to automate;

1. High growth of the industry

The age of the fourth industrial revolution is upon us, yielding automation as an ever-present engine in a broad array of industries. Think about how much of today’s world is influenced by automation. The list is endless. Automation enables everything from buying software solutions to eliminating manual effort to increasing the security of networks and services to protect users and data from cyber-attacks. As a result of the growing nature of automation, opportunities are accelerating for consultants to assist businesses with the automation process and help them find solutions that drive digital transformation.

2. There is a market for automation consulting

‘’Skill shifts have accompanied the introduction of new technologies in the workplace since at least the Industrial Revolution, but adoption of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will mark an acceleration over the shifts of even the recent past.’’

McKinsey, 2018 

Over the next 10 to 15 years, the adoption of automation will transform the workplace as people increasingly interact with ever-evolving machines. Demand for automation talent outweighs supply due to factors such as an aging workforce and minorities underrepresented in the field. The skills gap is continuing to grow. According to a skills gap report by Deloitte, the next decade will see a ratio of 3.4 million jobs that require automation skills, but only 1. 4 million qualified workers. Consultants can, and should – use this disparity to their advantage. By focusing on automation, consulting companies can deliver the much-needed automation expertise to organizations that are short-staffed in automation skills.

3. New revenue opportunities

As the demand for leveraging automation grows, organizations are willing to spend more on technology services. This presents a lucrative opportunity for consulting businesses and consultants: who can earn additional revenue by providing the following services: 

– Services such as advisory, strategy

– Implementation

– Training

– Ongoing support and maintenance

4. Improved data collection and analysis

The data collection and analysis of automation is a game-changer for consultants. That’s because it allows you to:

  • Set industry benchmarks
  • Share aggregated data in the form of industry reports
  • You can leverage these (and more) data collection advantages to establishing yourself as a thought leader within your industry.

By leveraging automation and AI technology, consultants can also quickly collect and analyze large amounts of data to gain deeper insights into multiple business areas. Consultants can harness such insights to enhance their services and deliver improved ROI to their clients.

5. Streamlined administration tasks

A quick google search of “software automation for consultants” results in a mish-mash of ambiguity and often suggests a suite of 10 solutions, half of which may not integrate. Tedious, administrative tasks such as cross-referencing spreadsheets and multiple productivity tools slow you down, create more work, and increase human error risk. Streamlining this tedium will bring many automation benefits to consultants Focus on finding the right software that enhances your output and set yourself up to facilitate an agile, collaborative process. You can easily streamline your administrative tasks with Olive’s software, allowing you to free up time to focus on growing your consultancy business. With Olive, you can automate your process with customizable RFP templates, and easily create and reuse projects. Preload with initial discovery questions, functional requirements, non functional requirements, and surveys. Vendor details and responses will be saved in your data for future projects, saving time and resources. You can also implement Olive’s surveys to facilitate a seamless collaboration process, helping you easily capture and record feedback from stakeholders across the organization.

6. Increased productivity

When consultants no longer have to spend time and energy on routine administration tasks and other mundane processes, they’re better able to focus on more productive tasks. For example, consultants save time on long meetings, emails, spreadsheets, and formatting data across multiple tools by investing in the right automation tools. In the long run, this saves countless hours by avoiding long meetings, stakeholder interviews, and eliciting requirements into spreadsheets.

7. Increased brand trust

IT consultants need to practice what they preach. Consultants working from spreadsheets and word docs – while simultaneously suggesting innovative solutions to their clients, hardly imbue a sense of authenticity to their clients. A complete package of strategy, technology, and implementation is required for today’s top consultants to remain competitive. Consultants who leverage the right automation will deliver more with less effort and see their clients reap the benefits. Olive aims to help consultants digitize their process and release time to build a trusted brand.

Solutions to Automate Your Consultancy

As we previously mentioned, many consultants rely on outdated processes such as spreadsheets and word docs. Look for tools that streamline repeatable processes.

The software selection process can be notoriously difficult, especially when many solutions are available – not all of which are reliable. Olive provides consultants with an easily implemented solution to help you manage projects, gather, manage and rank requirements and compare solutions to client needs. Forget spreadsheets, meetings, and emails: manage the entire process in Olive. Olive facilitates streamlined collaboration with departments, and keeps all your data and insights in one location, helping to automate tedious aspects of your process and due diligence.

Consultants are all too susceptible to spending too much time and resources during a technology evaluation, only to end up with a software solution that they cannot implement because it does not fit the client’s needs, or something was missed during the evaluation. At Olive, we believe that it all comes down to the quality of your evaluation process. The quality of your evaluation depends on reducing three things: complexity, bias, and time taken to purchase the best-fit solution – and these factors can be hugely reduced by harnessing the power of the right innovative technological tools.

How Olive can Fast Track Automation for your Consultancy

At Olive, we constantly hear the same story about the painful process of selecting the right software. Many consultants tell us that they all follow the same rigid and dated waterfall process. Our approach to selecting software is; to lead with the business needs. 

Understanding your business needs is a crucial step in buying tools for automation. Ensure that identifying these needs is ideally a collaborative process between critical decision-makers.

Consider the following;

  • What are your business goals for the next year?
  • What areas of your consultancy business are growing, and what areas are shrinking?
  • How could the right solution benefit your consultancy business?
  • How can we do more with less and decrease time to value?

Stay Competitive, Bring Automation to Your Consulting Firm

Our platform can help. Olive is an end-to-end technology evaluation platform used by consultants to find solutions that drive transformation. Olive consultants provide their clients with thorough evaluations of all potential solutions in weeks. With features and solutions created to streamline requirements gathering and software selection, consultants can reap the benefits of a tool that speeds up time to implementation. We help you simplify your software vendor selection process, increase agile collaboration, bring consistency to your process and decrease your time to value. Contact us for a demo.

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