IT consulting services are often perceived to be in bespoke and custom curated to suit client requisites. This loosely translates to studying the client business to the ground-level details, understanding every underlying business processes and then suggesting ways to optimize those business processes in a way that would require minimum time and efforts and in return, it will bear humongous profits to the businesses with a quantifiable output and an increased ROI. These old-fangled consulting techniques no wonder works best for certain businesses where age-old time tested IT consulting services are employed. But it comes with a price.
Since custom IT consulting solutions require more time to pay attention to and analyze the business process and provide the best fit IT consulting services; this, in turn, increases the consulting cost and the time that an IT consulting firm invests.
This is where the concept of packaging the IT consulting services into products comes into the picture. A pre-defined, streamlined, and predictable process of the IT Consulting packages eases the entire process, provides quick-fixes to the clients and channelizes the IT consulting process from start to the end – leaving no loop-holes for any business processes that might be overlooked.
What are productized consulting services?
Quite the opposite of custom curating the IT consulting services is the productized consulting services. The fixed scope of the consulting services are identified, evaluated, strategized and perspicaciously drafted. The scope of these IT consulting services are charted out in a way that serves various analytical business processes and does not require a custom solution. The generic scope that the IT consulting firms drafts is meant to well suit the myriad businesses requisites of the small, medium to enterprise-level businesses. Productized IT consulting services normally come with fixed, flat rates for the pre-defined scope and the expertise of the consulting firms are packaged into products offering varying services that the clients can purchase them as per their business requirements. The productized consulting packages systematically focus on the multiple operational processes and channelize them to the pre-defined scope and can each process be improvised using the expertly curated consulting packages.
How to strategize packaging IT consulting services into products?
There are various aspects that an IT consulting firm must take into account before they roll-out their consulting services into products. Taking the first right step towards packaging the consulting services into a product is crucial and determines the degree of success of the model the IT firm is looking to incorporate. There are various factors that are to be taken into consideration to curate consulting packages:
- To identify the core competency of the consulting firms. To determine the strengths, skills and business approach becomes of utmost importance.
- Identify the competitive position of the consulting business brand draw strategies around it.
- The next step that follows is to identify and build a cognitive brand image to which the potential clients can relate and trust you with their business understanding.
- Identify and highlight the areas that are the fortes of an IT consulting firm and work the consulting packages around them. This, in particular, involves identifying the niche markets that are in line with your IT services and the businesses that would require the IT Consulting services that you are packaging into products.
- Care must be taken to focus on the output of the packages in terms of its deliverables.
- A fixed predefined value proposition document is to be drafted with fixed, flat-rate prices, also giving way to manage any unforeseen variable factors in the course of offering IT consulting services.
- Clearly state the expected support from the clients that are essential to bringing to fruition the IT consulting packages.
- Once the standardized products are ready, scrutinize them for further sophistication, in case there is any scope of improvisation and fill in any perceivable loop-holes.
- The next step that follows is to clearly outline the steps of delivery to efficiently implement the packages once sold to the clients.
- To constantly keep an eye on the success of the IT consulting products and keep learning and improvising from the feedback received from the clients. This is the only way to continuously improve the packaging of IT consulting products.
How do firms benefit from productized IT consulting services?
IT consulting firms are swiftly making a transition from offering custom IT consulting solutions to productizing their Consulting packages into products. There are many and varied reasons behind this transition that are not only beneficial to the IT consulting firms but also equally beneficial to the clients availing them. There are many proven benefits to adopt this model per se.
- A steep rise in improved customer experience is visible. This is possible because IT consulting firms adhere to the pre-defined implementation process that draws quantifiable results. This also sharply eliminates much of the back and forth communication involved in the process.
- With the process that is well-defined and projects measurable results, it intrinsically scales up the revenue of the clients as well as that of its consulting firms.
- A well-defined IT consulting scope helps to determine the number of hours and efforts that would go into a project. This significantly improves the profit margins of both the parties involved as the effort is identified from the starting of the consulting process, leaving no ambiguity for the efforts that would go into the completion of the consulting project.
- The streamlined nature of the IT consulting services makes it easy for businesses to sell their services to their potential clients as their offerings are fixed and all they have to do is target their niche markets. The added benefit here is that it becomes easy for the IT consulting firms to take more people on board to sell their packages as the scope of the packages is already well-defined.
What future holds for the productized IT consulting services?
The future of this model is strong and with steady flow income for the stakeholders involved in the process. Further future enhancements can be made to this business model by adopting various approaches to implement it.
- The marketing-centric approach – This approach is aimed at selling a fewer number of services from the packaged products at the initial stage to garner a loyal audience before the clients can take the leap of faith to invest in the entire IT consulting service packages. Selling a scaled-down version of your consulting packages to a larger customer base also ensures an initial boost in the ROI of the IT consulting firms.
- The product-centric approach – This approach adopts to sell the entire IT consulting service packages to the clients. Once the clients are convinced of the product packages through the marketing approach, they are now assured to spend on mapping how much they are paying, what they will get in return in terms of deliverables and project quantifiable results from themselves. From the scope to the timeline to the deliverables is clearly well-defined ahead of availing the IT consulting service packages.
- The service-centric approach – This is closely related to the subscription model to enhance the IT consulting service offerings. Having been familiar with the IT consulting packages through the product-centric model, the clients can choose to avail of the productized consulting services as a part of their ongoing service for the stipulated duration of the 3 months to 6 months based on their requisites. This recurring productized service model is especially helpful for the IT consulting firms as technology sees an upgrade almost every day with new innovations being made each day!
Thus adopting a productized approach to selling the consulting services is the new norm that not only scales up the business for all the stakeholders involved but also marks an exponential rise in the ROI of the stakeholder businesses.