Insight Interview: Glyn Knaresborough, CSC

Glyn Knaresborough, Head of Consulting at CSC, says 2014 was the year that CSC made a step change in its consulting business. The year saw big gains in revenue, success at recruiting some of the industry’s best talent, and a focus on enabling clients to drive their Digital transformations. 

“In some ways Digital consulting is a natural evolution for a technology firm,” observes Glyn. “But it’s very significant in other ways. We’ve moved away from an infrastructure view and have expanded our advisory offer. This has created a new operating model, carefully focused on key capabilities and industry sectors. Crucially, our offers and advice are not dependent on any particular technology brands.

“The goal is clear: to understand and explain to clients how you drive Digital transformation.” To that end, Glyn explains that CSC has engaged in extensive recruitment. “We recruited 100 new people last year and will be looking to more than double that next year.”

Glyn says that CSC’s Digital advisory has seen growth across many sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, banking and capital markets, transport and infrastructure. This is a result of developing a different approach to Digital transformation.

“Much of Digital to date has been on the surface – front end stuff, grafting something more acceptable to customers onto imperfect infrastructure. But when you look at the scale of the Digital challenge that some organisations face then this is just superficial and may even make their situation worse, through over- promising and under-delivering.

“Consider investment banking. That market has been used to easy 10–15% margins in the past, and have typically built their business technology platforms on that basis. Yet with competition from commoditised investment applications built on Cloud and ‘as a service’ platforms, the old model is under significant threat.

Like so many organisations, they will need to transform right across the enterprise. Digitisation of the back office, where much of the cost is, will be needed, not just at the front end. A major global bank that has 100 000 people in technology and 1000 in application development alone is carrying far too much technology weight and will struggle to make its margins. Lighter, Digital systems throughout the enterprise will assist.”

Glyn explains that getting this across to clients is about thought-leadership. “We now engage in point-of-view consulting. We research the predicaments of various markets, seek out examples from things we are doing elsewhere, and set out positions on what needs to happen to transform a particular sector or type of enterprise. We then adapt it for the individual client.”

Research and evidenced-based advice of this sort, allied to adaptations for specific clients, is the future of consulting for Glyn. “It can lead to real innovations, such as the patient centred digitisation we’re pioneering in Manchester for the NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group. And it can also lead to pragmatic and low cost solutions. Knowing what is going on across sectors helps. If a manufacturer approaches us looking for a payment system, then knowing that we’ve supported a bank to build one allows us to broker a deal in which the manufacturer can use it and not have to waste resources reinventing the wheel.” 

Glyn Knaresborough, Head of Consulting at CSC, was interviewed for the MCA report 'UK Consulting Industry Statistics 2015', and as part of the MCA Year of Digital.