For Canada’s consultants, every Cloud has a silver lining

Last year, we wrote about the relatively slow spread of digital transformation across Canada. This year, we’re pleased to say that the tortoise may well have come into its own.

With the consulting market presenting overall growth of 4.9%, 2017 was a good year to be a consultant in Canada—but it was even better if you were able to offer digital services. Canada’s digital market is now almost four times the size it was in 2016, with digital work now accounting for 20% of all consulting happening there. To put that in perspective, the US digital market—arguably the most dynamic in the world—remains much larger, but grew just 77% over the same period. If you’re a consultant wanting to sell digital solutions, Canada must look like a very nice option.

Fuelled by attractive new-technology use cases pouring in from the US, Canada’s clients were eager to learn how they could replicate the successes being enjoyed south of the border. For those clients asking how they could use new technologies to improve back-office efficiency, Canada’s consultants had an answer: cloud-based ERP systems. Cloud-based systems are proving to be one of the biggest drivers of digital work (in Canada and globally, too), with clients making the switch in order to drive transformation right across the business, including setting the stage for greater data & analytics uptake. For consultants, this is very good news. After all, cloud ERP provides a better platform for data collection, thus creating a massive opportunity for consultants to offer data & analytics services on the back of it. Indeed, cloud implementation bodes very well for more sophisticated work emerging in the near future.

Not all firms have been able to benefit from the cloud bonanza, however. Some firms in Canada allowed the demand to catch them by surprise, and not all are equipped for this kind of work. Given the difficulty of finding digital talent, catching up at this point won’t be easy. Meanwhile, the large technology and strategy firms, as well as the Big Four, have been investing in this space for quite a while and are very well positioned to capitalise on this quickly expanding opportunity. Now that technology lies at the heart of so much of what clients are looking for, it’s clear that the year ahead holds enormous opportunity for them.