Consultancy firms in online

Michael Nutley’s column on digital strategy (MW 7 October) highlights how the big consultancy firms are muscling into the online space.

The problem with this is that, as a rule, management consultants typically don’t recruit former digital practitioners. As a result, they will often have serious issues in understanding the granularity and complexities of this environment.

Successful consultancy requires high-calibre business strategists, as well as the ability to build trust with clients at a senior level. Performing that task in an immature sector requires in-depth knowledge that most consultancies just don’t have.

And while the KPMGs and Accentures of this world lack hands-on knowledge, most agencies are still, as Nutley points out, pre-disposed to offer a particular type of guidance based on their commercial model or desire to sell delivery services.

There has to be a new type of offering – and it has to come from the online side. Organisations need senior, strategic support to set digital business strategy: to define commercial models, write operational plans, up-skill and in-source. Only those professionals who have run successful digital businesses or operations are up to the challenge.

Amanda Davie
Managing director
Reform Digital

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