In these times when the resilience of organisations is being so sorely tested, digital technology and innovation are indisputably two strategic goals for any company. In this context, you have to admit that innovation can take many forms. This is particularly the case for IT Consulting firms that must always be one step ahead because their clients expect them to have a boosting effect; they must have a constant capacity to offer solutions and services to suit the new uses of their end customers. This need drives IT Consulting firms to seek highly varied profiles and to invest to define the trends of the future, in the short and medium term.
Not limiting yourself to your partner’s innovation
The integration business is of course still largely a matter of deploying and implementing solutions developed by other companies (publishers control their software roadmap). However, it is important that IT Consultants influence these roadmaps to contribute to designing tomorrow’s solutions; to make them accessible through new models of services and uncover new possible uses. Technical expertise in software is no longer sufficient for our clients, we now need to offer them the professional skills to find evermore appropriate solutions for their specific uses; providing them with turnkey solutions that do not have a long build-time. It is in this context that a new background trend seems to be emerging: managed services.
IT Consulting firms are enriching their approaches by hosting, operating and maintaining strategic platforms, acting like an augmented COI for their clients. The Cloud, managed services and SaaS have really shaken up the market and transformed the traditional business models of integrators. As IT Consultants in a corporate group working on BPS, we are constantly seeking to combine innovations both in terms of the human expertise that can improve processes and in terms of technologies, so that we can create new models for services with even better performances. We set out to find the different combinations to increase productivity and competitiveness.
Innovating to recruit experts, and vice-versa
Recruiting talents with a range of profiles and keeping staff loyal is a key factor for all IT Consulting firms. A solid culture of innovation is an asset for attracting the best people and making them stay on-board with a corporate project that makes sense in their eyes. Unusual profiles can in particular hold lots of value, so much so that at Tessi we may go so far as to modify our organisations to make room for them. This range of profiles drives us to adopt a 1to1 approach with employees, to empower them by bringing decision making closer to issues, and to regularly adapt working methods.
It is all about creating a stimulating environment, which facilitates integration and the development of talents in a company in the long term, where the playing field offered to everybody is centred on their strengths to the greatest extent possible. Recruitment based on a job simulation-based method—that consists of forgetting about CVs and giving applicants a task to assess their capacity to work on a project or a subject—encourages diversity and therefore innovation.
Innovating in working methods
Team work is essential to innovate in an incremental manner every day. Implementing the tools required to allow teams to communicate efficiently and to develop a form of collective intelligence is a guarantee of performance for IT Consultancy firms. We can talk about collaborative communication tools that allow people to chat informally every day, without a complex circuit, and in real time.
As an IT Consultancy Firm’s activity is also determined by its clients’ projects, which are worked on by teams that are formed to suit them, firms also need to structure their communication. We have therefore implemented a solution to increase the efficiency of our remote steering committees. Our operational meetings are now naturally structured, and actions are monitored and logged automatically from one meeting to another. The communities in different fields of expertise that are stimulated in this way grow stronger every day thanks to collaborative and structuring tools.
IT Consultancy Firms therefore need to grasp all the dimensions of innovation to ensure their long-term growth: in terms of technology of course, but also those that impact knowledge management.
Jean-Luc Vecchio, Jean-Luc Vecchio, CEO at Tessi Switzerland + CEO at Tessi Consulting & Integration Europe