Senior Research Analyst, Business Consulting, IDC
& Vice President, Global Services Markets and Trends, IDC
This study represents the vendor assessment model called IDC MarketScape. It is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the characteristics that explain a vendor’s current and future success in the marketplace. The evaluation assesses the capabilities and business strategies of many prominent business consulting firms.
It is based on a comprehensive framework and a set of parameters expected to be most conducive to success in providing business consulting services during both the short term and the long term. A significant component of this evaluation is the inclusion of business consulting buyers’ perception of both the key characteristics and the capabilities of these consulting providers, both directly from the vendors’ clients and through a survey. Overall, these firms performed very well on this assessment. Key findings include:
Use this IDC MarketScape as one tool in your qualification and selection of potential business consulting providers. While all firms have capabilities to help you drive changes to your business across multiple domains, make the choice about which, if any, of these activities can be led by your consultant and which need to be driven by organizational insiders. Beyond that, consider the three areas cited in this worldwide evaluation where improvement is needed. These are business consulting firms’ abilities to help clients:
Determine which areas are important to you, and make sure you directly investigate each relevant area to understand the strategy and capability of each potential business consulting provider you are considering.
This section briefly explains IDC’s key observations resulting in a vendor’s position in the IDC MarketScape. While every vendor is evaluated against each of the criteria outlined in the Appendix, the description here provides a summary of the vendor’s strengths and challenges.
Accenture is positioned in the Leaders category in this IDC MarketScape on worldwide business consulting services for 2020, based on IDC analysis and customer feedback.
Accenture helps clients address complex, mission-critical issues and works closely with C-suite executives to help them steer and shape their innovation and transformation agendas. With 509,000 employees and locations in 51 countries, Accenture is one of the world’s largest professional services companies. Its clients include more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500, including 91 of the top 100.
Earlier this year, Accenture announced changes to its growth model designed to unleash the full potential of the company’s capabilities, increase innovation, and create greater opportunities for its people. As part of this, Accenture is simplifying its organizational structure to more easily create multidisciplinary teams to serve its clients and work with ecosystem partners to create new assets and solutions.
Accenture will now organize its capabilities in four units, referred to as Services: Strategy & Consulting, Interactive, Technology, and Operations — with digital and technology expertise pervasive in all parts of its business. The company will manage its business through three geographic-based markets — Europe, growth markets, and North America — instead of five operating groups. At the same time, Accenture will continue to go to market by industry and will expand its global industry programs.
Accenture Strategy & Consulting, with more than 41,000 skilled professionals, includes the capabilities of Accenture Strategy; the industry consulting, functional consulting, and technology advisory capabilities (formerly in its operating groups); its network of innovation hubs; its Applied Intelligence capabilities; and advisory services for Industry X.0.
Worldwide, Accenture is seen to excel at providing functional insights and competence. Accenture’s additional strengths are understanding clients’ unique business needs and meeting the project timeline.
Accenture can improve its perception among clients related to its ability to help clients expand into new markets and geographies. On projects, Accenture should emphasize how it can help clients adapt to change and become more agile and transfer knowledge and skills to the various stakeholders.
This research includes analysis of the five largest business consulting firms based on worldwide revenues in IDC’s Services Tracker, and additional firms with broad portfolios spanning the different business consulting domains identified in IDC’s Worldwide Services Taxonomy, 2019 (IDC #US44916019, March 2019). These criteria were used because the scope of this evaluation covers the broadest definition of business consulting. The assessment is designed to evaluate the characteristics of each firm — as opposed to its size or the breadth of its services. It is conceivable, and in fact the case, that specialty firms can compete with multidisciplinary firms on an equal footing. As such, this evaluation should not be considered a “final judgment” on the firms to consider for a particular project. An enterprise’s specific objectives and requirements will play a significant role in determining which firms should be considered as potential candidates for an engagement.
For the purposes of this analysis, IDC divided potential key measures for success into two primary categories: capabilities and strategies.
Positioning on the y-axis reflects the vendor’s current capabilities and menu of services and how well aligned the vendor is to customer needs. The capabilities category focuses on the capabilities of the company and product today, here and now. Under this category, IDC analysts will look at how well a vendor is building/delivering capabilities that enable it to execute its chosen strategy in the market.
Positioning on the x-axis, or strategies axis, indicates how well the vendor’s future strategy aligns with what customers will require in three to five years. The strategies category focuses on high-level decisions and underlying assumptions about offerings, customer segments, and business and go-to-market plans for the next three to five years.
The size of the individual vendor markers in the IDC MarketScape represents the market share of each individual vendor within the specific market segment being assessed.
IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and specific vendors. IDC analysts tailor the range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured through structured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants, and end users. Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys, and the input of a review board of IDC experts in each market. IDC analysts base individual vendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions on the IDC MarketScape, on detailed surveys and interviews with the vendors, the vendors’ customer references, publicly available information, and end-user experiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of each vendor’s characteristics, behavior, and capability.
Business consulting involves advisory and implementation services related to management issues. It often includes defining an organization’s strategy and goals and designing and implementing the structures and processes that help the organization reach its goals. Business consulting includes three main areas: strategy consulting, operational improvement consulting, and change and organization consulting. The market is primarily served by four firm types:
This IDC study uses the IDC MarketScape model to provide an assessment of several providers participating in the worldwide business consulting services market. The IDC MarketScape is an evaluation based on a comprehensive framework and a set of parameters that assesses providers relative to one another and to those factors expected to be most conducive to success in each market during both the short term and the long term.