Deloitte, the giant accounting, consulting, and professional services firm has announced 2017 results, and they are stellar.  Deloitte reported total firm-wide revenues of US$38.8 billion for the fiscal year ended 31 May 2017. It represents a 7.1 percent revenue increase from the previous year.

Why it matters and should matter to CIOs and other technology leaders?  It does and it should.  There are several trends one can notice and draw definite conclusions.

Digging a bit deep, these are the highlights from the Deloitte’s news release:

  • Risk Advisory revenue grew the fastest at 12.9 percent, driven by increased recognition of risk as a strategic driver of performance, a focus on targeted acquisitions in high growth areas such as cyber, and innovative solutions in the field of robotic process automation, risk sensing, and predictive analytics.
  • Consulting revenue grew at 10.2 percent, powered by the urgency of clients to accelerate their business model transformation in disrupted markets, and by its growing momentum through strategic acquisitions, alliances and investments in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive, creative digital consulting, cloud computing, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT). Deloitte continues to make pioneering moves to help clients transform their businesses through co-innovation initiatives with organizations such as Singularity University and the Singapore Economic Development Board.
  • Tax & Legal revenue grew at 6.6 percent, fueled by client needs related to the global tax reset—resulting from the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting effort (BEPS), the evolution of technology and automation, and mass globalization. Deloitte’s focus on helping clients manage and make confident decisions about their tax matters included introducing several enhanced global technology tools such as TP Digital DoX, Value Chain Analysis Tool (VCAT), and myInsight.
  • Financial Advisory revenue grew 5.8 percent, driven by increasing demand for its broad and innovative multi-disciplinary M&A services. Growth was also driven by Deloitte’s Forensic service line, which has been recognized for leadership in eDiscovery, investigations, and dispute analysis and advisory. Regional growth in China, as well as the expansion of the Asia Pacific Financial Crime Network, contributed to Financial Advisory’s strong year.

Here are some thoughts on why Deloitte’s growth matters to CIOs?

  • Despite seemingly on the cusp of disruption, the mainline consulting and professional services industry is well and alive.
  • Companies don’t want to bulk up payroll. Today, more than ever, companies are keeping their employee rolls lean and depending on a range of professional services, outsourcing, and contingent help to remain nimble and lower fixed overhead costs.
  • Consulting and Professional Service balance of power is shifting. With companies needing tremendous help in the digital realm, the consulting industry as a whole is at the peak of its value-add.
  • Today, consulting and professional services have become multidimensional, and firms that offer a diverse set of skills and competencies are excelling.  For example, to address many of the digital needs, companies need to put together team ranging from strategy consulting, business and systems analysis, data and analytics, technology enablement, and design.  No wonder, many of the big consulting and professional services firms are acquiring boutique shops across areas such as data, design, and niche solutions.
  • Consulting firms have upped the consulting game and have been recruiting a lot of talent across many disciplines.

And, specifically with regards to Deloitte:

  • Deloitte has raised its game in the strategy realm. More often than not, Deloitte is in the conversations for engagement that have hitherto been the province of the strategy firms (McKinsey, BCG, et al.)
  • Deloitte’s diversity of talent and expertise across industries, functions, technologies, and disciplines is becoming a potent recipe for success in the digital transformation field.
  • Deloitte has been at the forefront of developing a lot of intellectual capital, and that is helping as well.

What should business and technology leaders do?

  • Re-examine your list of favorite providers and evaluate whether all of them have kept up with the times?
  • As reliance on consulting and professional services increase, companies should rethink what core is, what is context, and what is the commodity and where to hire full time, bring on consultants, and outsource some functions.
  • Analyze the consulting spend and develop clear KPIs on how to evaluate success.