Consulting depends on the creative imaginations of the people who carry it out

“Consulting, even Digital consulting, depends on the creative imaginations of the people who carry it out. But it’s possible to extend the range of our offerings, and our client base, by creating new Digital applications and portals.”

For example, KPMG has launched The C2FO Market, a new digital supply chain finance platform to UK business. The C2FO Market is transforming the business to business loan principle, acting as a ‘private exchange’ between buyers and their suppliers who use the marketplace to increase profit and accelerate cash transfers between themselves, giving SMEs access to a new source of working capital. Existing supply chain relationships are enhanced and strengthened without the SME becoming a debtor to the larger enterprise.

Alwin suggests that there are other ways that he can use applications to bring services to the SME market by making them more affordable. “We’re looking at how some of our core services, such as accountancy and tax services, can be provided in a basic digitised form for small and medium enterprises. As those ventures get larger, they will need more complex services, delivered by people. But if we’ve been able to give them access to a more simplified but top quality service through an application or a portal, then they will be more likely to choose us when they need something more involved.”

Alwin thinks that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of being able to transform product offerings through this type of model. Whole areas of the economy, especially in the provision of services, could be disintermediated. “As we go forward, consulting will need to learn to leverage these sorts of products. That’s going to mean changes in our skills base. We’ll still need traditional analysts. But we’ll also need people who understand Digital and can write code.

“But most important of all, we’re going to need creative people, with fresh thinking and new ideas that can foster innovation in a connected world.”