Problem Solving Skills You Need to Succeed


By

Alison Doyle is the job search expert for The Balance Careers, and one of the industry’s most highly-regarded job search and career experts.

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Alison Doyle

Updated March 10, 2020

In nearly every career sector, problem-solving is one of the key skills that employers seek in job applicants. It’s hard to find a blue-collar, administrative, managerial, or professional position that doesn’t require problem-solving skills of some kind.

Considered a soft skill (a personal strength, as opposed to a hard skill that is learned through education or training), an aptitude for creative and effective problem-solving is nonetheless one of the most valued attributes employers seek in their job candidates.

For example, a cable television technician might be trying to resolve a customer problem with a weak signal. A teacher might need to figure out how to improve the performance of her students on a writing proficiency test. A store manager might be trying to reduce theft of merchandise. A computer specialist might be looking for a way to speed up a slow program.

Now that we’ve brainstormed a list of potential challenges, your next step is to think of effective solutions for these issues, noting the skills you’ll need to resolve them. Here are five steps most commonly used in problem-solving, their associated skills, and examples of where each step is utilized in different career sectors.

Theresa Chiechi. © The Balance 2019 

In order to solve a problem, you must first figure out what caused it. This requires you to gather and evaluate data, isolate possible contributing circumstances, and pinpoint what needs to be addressed for a resolution.

Required Skills:

  • Active Listening
  • Data Gathering
  • Data Analysis
  • Fact Finding
  • Historical Analysis
  • Causal Analysis
  • Process Analysis
  • Needs Identification

Examples: Diagnosing Illnesses, Identifying the Causes for Social Problems, Interpreting Data to Determine the Scope of Problems, Pinpointing Behaviors Contributing to Marital Distress, Recognizing Invalid Research Models

Once you’ve determined what is causing a problem, it’s time to brainstorm possible solutions. Sometimes this involves teamwork, since two (or more) minds are often better than one. It’s rare that a single strategy is the obvious route to solving a complex problem; devising a set of alternatives helps you cover your bases and reduces your risk of exposure should the first strategy you implement fail.

Required Skills:

  • Brainstorming
  • Creative Thinking
  • Prediction
  • Forecasting
  • Project Design
  • Project Planning

Examples: Brainstorming Solutions, Developing Treatment Plans, Devising and Testing Hypotheses

Depending upon the nature of the problem and your chain of command, evaluating best solutions may be performed by assigned teams, team leads, or forwarded upward to major corporate decision makers. Whoever makes the decision must evaluate potential costs, required resources, and possible barriers to successful solution implementation.

Required Skills:

  • Analysis
  • Discussion
  • Corroboration
  • Teamwork
  • Test Development
  • Mediation
  • Prioritizing

Examples: Evaluating Alternative Strategies for Reducing Stress, Proposing Diplomatic Solutions to Border Disputes, Selecting Employees to Lay Off During a Business Downturn, Troubleshooting Computer Malfunctions

Once a course of action has been decided upon, it must be implemented, along with benchmarks which can quickly and accurately determine whether it’s working to solve a problem. Plan implementation also involves alerting changes to personnel in standard operating procedures.

Required Skills:

  • Project Management
  • Project Implementation
  • Collaboration
  • Time Management
  • Benchmark Development

Examples: Anticipating Obstacles to Implementation, Implementing Solutions, Mediating Interpersonal Conflicts, Repairing Malfunctioning Machinery

Once a solution is implemented, the best problem-solvers have systems in place to ascertain if and how quickly it’s working. This way, they know as soon as possible whether the issue has been resolved or, alternatively, whether they’ll have to change their response to the problem mid-stream.

Required Skills:

  • Communication
  • Data Analysis
  • Surveys
  • Customer Feedback
  • Follow-through
  • Troubleshooting

Examples: Surveying End-users, Comparing Production Figures, Evaluating YOY Sales Figures

You don’t have to provide a cookie-cutter answer. Employers are always eager for individuals who can think outside the box and present new solutions, especially when old ones aren’t working.

It’s important to demonstrate your problem-solving skills in your answer. If the interviewer proposes a potential problem, share how you’d resolve it.

As you explain your thought process, use the steps listed above (from analyzing the cause to assessing the effectiveness of your interventions). Or, share an example of a problem you solved in a previous role. Explain how and why you solved the issue.

Here are a few examples of how job candidates in different professions might describe their problem-solving skills:

As a nurse practitioner, my problem-solving skills are for diagnosing illnesses and developing treatment plans. With each patient, I analyze their medical histories, their symptoms, and their potential exposures to different illnesses. I then determine if we can pin down a diagnosis immediately or if we need blood tests. I develop a care plan and, if warranted, perform follow-up calls to check on the recovery process.

When I was first hired as a paralegal, I inherited a backlog of 25 sets of medical records that needed to be summarized, each of which was hundreds of pages long. However, at the same time, I had to help prepare for three major cases, and there simply weren’t enough hours in the day. After I explained the problem to my supervisor, she agreed to pay me to come in on Saturday mornings to focus on the backlog. I was thus able to eliminate it in a month.

When I joined the team at Great Graphics as Artistic Director, the designers had become lackadaisical and uninspired because of a former director who attempted to micro-manage every step in the design process. I used weekly round-table discussions to solicit creative input and ensured that each designer was given full autonomy to do their best work. I also introduced monthly team-based competitions that helped build morale, spark exciting new ideas, and improve collaboration.

Interviewers may also provide an example of a potential problem and then ask you to outline the steps you would take to address it. To prepare, brainstorm issues that commonly arise in your field.

The list below includes common strategies involved in problem-solving. These skills can be useful to include in your answer to an intervie
w question related to problem-solving.

  • Active Listening
  • Anticipating Obstacles to Implementation
  • Assessing the Effectiveness of Interventions
  • Brainstorming Solutions
  • Collaboration
  • Determining Factors Impacting Stress
  • Developing Treatment Plans
  • Devising a Classroom Management Plan to Address Student Misbehavior 
  • Devising Hypotheses
  • Diagnosing Illnesses
  • Drawing Consensus around a Set of Solutions
  • Evaluating Alternative Strategies for Reducing Stress
  • Finding Middle Ground 
  • Flexibility to Try New Approaches
  • Follow-through
  • Gathering Data
  • Identifying the Causes for Social Problems
  • Identifying the Interests of all Parties 
  • Implementing Solutions
  • Interpreting Data to Determine the Scope of Problems
  • Mediating Interpersonal Conflicts
  • Pinpointing Behaviors Contributing to Marital Distress
  • Proposing Diplomatic Solutions to Border Disputes
  • Recognizing Invalid Research Models
  • Recommending Ways to Improve Communication in Relationships
  • Repairing Malfunctioning Machinery
  • Resolving a Customer Complaint
  • Restructuring a Budget after a Revenue Shortfall
  • Selecting Employees to LayOff During a Business Downturn
  • Testing Hypotheses
  • Troubleshooting Computer Malfunctions
  • Validating Data to Correctly Identify Problems

Highlight your skills in your resume:Your problem-solving skills should be on display in your cover letter, resume, and application materials. Be prepared to discuss specific ways you’ve used your problem-solving skills during phone screens and interviews.

Mention relevant skills in your cover letter:Look to previous roles—whether in academic, work, or volunteer settings—for examples of challenges you met and problems you solved while carrying out each function. Highlight relevant examples in your cover letter and frame bullet points in your resume to show off how you solved a problem.

Prepare to describe how you solve problems:During interviews, be ready to describe situations you’ve encountered in previous roles, the processes you followed to address problems, the skills you applied, and the results of your actions. Potential employers are eager to hear a coherent narrative of the specific ways you have used problem-solving skills

Source

10 Best IT Consulting Firms

2019 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING IT CONSULTING FIRMS

2019’s Top-Rated IT Consulting Firms to Trust with Your Technology

In today’s data-driven world, IT consulting has become more important than ever. Just two decades ago, office computers were mainly relegated to word processing or accounting functions, but in 2019, technology is the foundation that nearly all business functions rely on.

Top IT consulting firms can help businesses make the most efficient use of their technology, protect their infrastructure from data breaches, and administer their systems for peak efficiency.

The right use of IT can make or break a company. Those that use it to their advantage can reduce costs and gain a significant competitive edge over their competition.

It’s important when considering hiring IT consultancy services, that you carefully review a firm’s reputation, case histories, and experience in your industry to see if they’re a good fit.

For many busy CEOs and executives, reviewing multiple IT consulting companies can be a time-consuming task and not all know what they should be looking for when choosing a consulting firm to trust with their technology vision.

That’s one reason that AdvisoryHQ reviews multiple firms each year. It’s our goal to make the search for the best IT consulting firm easier by bringing you a list of the top-rated firms around the world.

We’ll tell you what makes each top IT consultancy on our list stand out and what values and innovations make them a great option. Read on to find out which 10 technology consultants made our 2019 ranking.

AdvisoryHQ Ranking Best IT Consulting Firms

AdvisoryHQ Ranking Best IT Consulting Firms

AdvisoryHQ Ranking Best IT Consulting Firms

Award Emblem: 10 Best IT Consulting Firms

10 Best IT Consulting Firms | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best IT Consulting Firms 2019 Ratings
Accenture 5
Boston Consulting Group 5
Capgemini 5
Deloitte Consulting 5
IBM Global Technology Services 5
KPMG 5
McKinsey & Company 5
Cognizant Technology Solutions 3
Tata Consultancy Services 3
Wipro Technologies 3

Table: 10 Best IT Consulting Firms | Above list is sorted by rating

Why Should a Business Use an IT Consulting Firm?

While you may have your own in-house IT department, that doesn’t mean that you won’t still benefit from hiring an IT consulting firm. Here are some of the advantages of working with this specific type of IT professional

A Fresh Perspective

While bringing in an outside consultant can seem intrusive to some people, a fresh perspective that comes from an outside firm can often inject new ideas that can take your technology to the next level.

IT consulting firms will have extensive experience working with multiple companies, both those in your industry and those in other industries. Their experience can often illuminate new IT efficiencies and workflows that you may not have been aware of.

Consulting professionals also bring an objective opinion to the table and can tell you honestly how your IT infrastructure is doing and what should be done to improve productivity, efficiency, and reduce costs.

Knowledge of IT Best Practices

Because technology consulting firms work with a wide variety of leading companies in multiple sectors, they’ll have an intimate knowledge of best practices and what’s worked or not worked for others in your industry.

By working with a top-rated IT consulting company, you gain the benefit of their multiple years of experience empowering business through IT innovations and securing networks and data with best practices.

IT consultancies will often provide white papers or other resources that can provide valuable education and insights to your own technology team.

Staff, Skillset, & Analytic Augmentation

Technology consulting firms have multiple skillsets which can be utilized in several areas of a business. Whether a company needs to automate their shipping process or ensure regulatory compliance with data privacy rules, an IT consultant can help.

Companies working with a top IT consulting firm gain the benefit of multiple team members. Consultancies purposely choose team members with diverse backgrounds and industry experience so they can put together a team that’s custom matched to each client’s needs.

Data analytics and “big data” are a driving force for many important corporate decisions. Many of the best IT consulting companies have special data analytics divisions to bring clients the comprehensive data analytics they need to drive value-based decisions.

2019 Top-Rated Global IT Consultants

2019 Top-Rated Global IT Consultants

2019 Top-Rated Global IT Consultants

2019 Top-Rated Global IT Consultants

2019 AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best IT Consulting Firms 

Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of 2019 top IT consulting companies. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these technology consulting firms to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Click any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.

Click below for previous years’ rankings:

Accenture Review

Utilizing market-shaping AI and ideas powered by intelligent technologies, Accenture is a top IT consulting firm that works with companies from all industries, around the world.

The firm uses a unique six-part innovation architecture that includes innovation centers, research, labs, studios and more. Notably, the firm has over 6,700 patents and patents pending worldwide.

This top-rated IT consultancy employs 477,000 employees in offices and operations throughout 200 cities. They offer quality and innovative IT consulting solutions to clients in 120 countries.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of Accenture as a Top IT Consulting Firm

Proactive Team-Building Approach

Accenture is continually seeking new team members with a variety of technology-based skill sets to fill any one of thousands of roles throughout the company.

This top IT consulting firm has also been known to evaluate potential recruits before they’ve even finished college and is always looking for the best and brightest in a given field to enhance the technology solutions they provide to their clients.

In addition to typical recruiting tactics, Accenture also holds a student empowerment program where the firm targets scholars in the business and technology fields, from their sophomore to senior years of college.

Best IT Consulting Firms Ranking & Reviews

Best IT Consulting Firms Ranking & Reviews

Best IT Consulting Firms Ranking & Reviews

Best IT Consulting Firms

Supporting a Diverse Workforce

As one of the top-rated IT consulting companies, Accenture maintains a strong priority of empowering and supporting equality in the workplace. Currently, 30% of Accenture company leaders are women, as are 40% of the external members of their board of directors.

Their goal is to attract, retain, and advance top talent from a diverse range of backgrounds to enrich the perspectives that they bring to client projects.

This top IT consulting firm has an objective to achieve 50/50 gender balance by 2025 and by 2020, to have women account for 25% of managing directors for the firm globally. Clients benefit greatly with this focus on gender equality from a broader range of talents, ideas, and expertise.

Rating Summary

Accenture helps some of the world’s most recognized names use technology to innovate operations and drive growth. They’ve helped connect high-touch technology and human touch for Carnival Corporation and implement cloud infrastructure for Del Monte Foods.

With a commitment to diversity and gender equality, a robust support architecture, and a reputation for innovation and implementing “new” now, Accenture scores 5-stars as one of the top IT consulting firms to consider partnering with this year.

Boston Consulting Group Review

Creating breakthrough ideas that drive change, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a top consulting company that provides management, strategy, and technology consulting that help businesses tackle their most important challenges.

Founded in 1963, this top IT consulting firm has a team of more than 18,500 that work with clients ranking among the world’s 500 largest corporations. They have offices in over 90 cities throughout 50 countries.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of Boston Consulting Group as a Top IT Consulting Firm

Value-Based Culture

When working with any IT consulting company, you’re entrusting quite of bit of your business operations to outsiders. So, you want to ensure you’re working with a company that upholds a set of values that shape everything they do.

BCG has a strong culture that’s anchored in a core set of values that both help them maintain their reputation as a market leader and create an inspiring workplace for its employees.

Core values that BCG refers to as their “common language” include:

  • Integrity
  • Respect for the Individual
  • Diversity
  • Clients Come First
  • The Strategic Perspective
  • Value Delivered
  • Partnership
  • Expanding the Art of the Possible
  • Social Impact

Through this core set of values, BCG strives to provide exemplary support to their clients, nurture a productive and enriched workforce, and make the world a better place.

Big Data & Advanced Analytics

Businesses have access to an unprecedented amount of data in today’s world. The companies that know how to capture, filter, and analyze that data properly are the ones that will gain a competitive advantage over their competitors.

BCG is on the forefront of big data and analytics, helping companies organize data into reporting that provides valuable insight for more intelligent decisions.

For those companies wondering how data analytics can impact their bottom line, BCG offers several case studies to illustrate the benefits. A few of the examples of how this top-rated IT consulting firm has helped clients through analytics include:

  • A bank identified and addressed an attrition rate of 60%
  • A grocery chain increased its margin by $70 million
  • A retailer increased sales through a loyal program by $160 million
  • A company was able to better manage shipping which resulted in saving $500 million

Rating Summary

BCG is plugged into the top technologies that are helping companies innovate and transform their operations, such as artificial intelligence, big data, IoT, and digital transformation tools.  

With a reputation for pushing boundaries and blazing new trails and a corporate culture founded on strong values and high standards, Boston Consulting Group solidifies a 5-star rating as a top IT consulting firm to consider working with in 2019.

Capgemini Review

Working at the forefront of digital transformation, Capgemini is a global leader in IT consulting that’s been “living the future” since 1967.

The firm has over 200,000 professionals working on over 40 countries around the world. Capgemini is headquartered in Paris and has a number of industry recognitions, including being ranked as the second fastest-growing IT services brand in 2019 by Brand Finance.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of Capgemini as a Top IT Consulting Firm

Comprehensive IT Consulting Services

As a top IT consulting firm, Capgemini offers a host of valuable IT consulting services to address a wide range of business needs.

While each focus area has its own list of unique services, Capgemini divides their IT consulting into four core areas of expertise:

  • Digital Customer Experience: Create and sustain connections between clients/customers
  • Digital Manufacturing: Find smart, connected products with better mobility, analytics, and cloud solutions
  • Insights & Data: Understand transactions and
    interactions based on global trends of digitization
  • Product and Engineering Services: Partner with Capgemini to build customized digital solutions

Best Global IT Consulting Companies

Best Global IT Consulting Companies

Best Global IT Consulting Companies

Best Global IT Consulting Companies

The Collaborative Business Experience

A large part of Capgemini’s success comes from what they call The Collaborative Business Experience. IT consulting services at Capgemini are created with collaboration at the forefront to ensure the best outcomes. 

This best IT consultancy believes that true success comes from working closely alongside their clients to create a customized approach. To achieve success through collaboration, Capgemini focuses on:

  • Targeting Value: Defining specific goals and creating targets for individual projects
  • Mitigating Risk: Understanding the stakes of each initiative and reducing challenges 
  • Optimizing Capabilities: Providing necessary support and knowledge to empower clients
  • Aligning the Organization: Creating lasting value through understanding and eliminating potential inhibitors

Rating Summary

Capgemini offers clients considerable depth when it comes to IT consulting, including two sub-brands, Capgemini Invent and Sogeti. The firm combines strategy, technology, data science, and creative design expertise to bring clients unique and transformative solutions.

With a results-driven approach, a focus on customized solutions, and expertise with emerging technologies, Capgemini is a top IT consulting firm to consider hiring this year and is awarded a 5-star rating.

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Deloitte Consulting Review

Delivering measurable and sustainable results for clients for over 150 years, Deloitte Consulting is a global consulting firm with a branch dedicated to IT consulting.

The firm works in over 150 countries and territories and has a committed team of 245,000 offering multiple services including audit & assurance, tax, legal, risk, and financial advisory, and strategic and IT consulting.

Key Factors That Led Us to Rank Deloitte Consulting as One of the Top IT Consulting Firms

Strong Company Culture

When evaluating IT consulting companies, it pays to compare their internal culture and working environment to ensure they align with your own organization’s value.

IT consulting firms that maintain a supportive environment for consultants also tend to have a client-facing approach. They believe that keeping employees happy and supported will, in turn, ensure clients receive exceptional care and attention.

Deloitte is proud to have an inclusive, diverse culture, and even conducts regular research on its benefits. Potential clients can easily review reports on topics like:

  • How organizations can advance inclusion
  • How to encourage individuals to avoid “covering” their authentic selves
  • Understanding the millennial cultural mindset

Insights uncovered from the firm’s research are directly applied to their internal culture, creating an environment of respect, integrity, and diversity.

Comprehensive IT Services

Partnering with Deloitte means taking advantage of decades of experience not just in IT consulting alone, but also in digital tools and strategy implementation.

Services from this top IT consulting firm include (but are not limited to):

  • Consulting: Learn how to innovate, transform, and lead the market
  • Application Managed Services: Customize application managed services to business objectives and IT
  • Deloitte Digital: Advance customer and design-centric thinking from strategy to execution
  • Oracle: Cloud-based solutions for HCM, marketing, ERP, customer experience, supply chain, and performance management
  • SAP: Digital platform designed to deliver sustainable value
  • Salesforce: Improve brand loyalty, sales processes, and customer relationships

Rating Summary

Deloitte is always striving to do better, which is reflected in the quality of the work they provide to their client’s. Their key objective is to help clients realize their ambitions and make a positive difference in society.

With a commitment to a diverse and supportive workspace and a broad range of solutions to help clients in multiple areas, Deloitte is a top-rated IT consultant that’s earned a 5-star rating and companies would do well to consider working with.

 Popular Article: Best Management Consulting Firms | Ranking | Working with a Management Consulting Firm

IBM Global Technology Services Review

With a rich heritage of transforming society through technology, IBM Global Services is one of the IBM arms, carrying on the company’s tradition of IT innovation which has been changing the face of the industry since 1911.

IBM’s IT infrastructure services offer a wide range of technology consulting services for organizations, including lab service, client centers, product engineering, platform testing, and IT economics.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of IBM as a Top IT Consulting Firm

Corporate Responsibility

As a global leader among IT consultancies, IBM takes a proactive approach towards corporate responsibility. They do this through pioneering technology, continuous transformation, and sustainable change. 

Some core tenets of IBM’s approach to corporate responsibility include:

  • Supporting & improving local communities
  • Investing in the personal & professional growth of employees
  • A commitment to environmental protection
  • Requiring social & environmental responsibility through their supply chain
  • Comprehensive & rigorous corporate governance

The effects of these principles have been overwhelmingly positive. In 2018, IBM implemented approximately 1,900 energy-saving projects across 300 locations, lowering their energy use by 151,000 MWh and saving an associated 53,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

This culture of responsibility also inspires the firm’s employees, with IBMers volunteering 1.3 million hours and donating over $24 million to charitable organizations last
year.

Top-Rated Technology Consulting Firms

Top-Rated Technology Consulting Firms

Top-Rated Technology Consulting Firms

Top-Rated Technology Consulting Firms

IBM Cloud Advisory Services

As one of the top-rated IT consulting services, IBM helps organizations ramp up the cloud learning curve quickly through their Cloud Advisory Services.

These IT hybrid cloud computing professionals work alongside clients to identify and implement individualized cloud-based solutions that are designed to improve efficiency and the bottom line. The firm has served big-name clients like American Airlines, Honda, and Bitly. 

Potential clients get guidance on stumbling blocks to avoid and assistance with any level of cloud adoption needed from planning and design to migration.

Rating Summary

Well known in the industry as a pioneer, IBM Global Technology Services is a name that speaks to over a century of experience using technology to enable businesses to innovate and evolve. 

With one of the richest IT consulting backgrounds, multiple resources for any type of technology need, and a reputation for results-based solutions, IBM solidifies their 5-star rating as a top IT consulting firm to consider for your technology needs in 2019.   

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KPMG Review

A member of the “Big Four” auditing firms, KPMG is a professional services company that offers audit, tax, and advisory services. Data-driven solutions through IT consulting are included in their advisory functions.

KPMG has over 207,000 specialized professionals assisting clients in multiple industries. This global IT consulting and professional services firm is based in the Netherlands, with over 750 locations around the globe.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of KPMG as a Top IT Consulting Firm

Value-Based Company Culture

As one of the top-rated IT consulting firms, KPMG is committed to maintaining a value-based corporate culture, demonstrated through their Code of Conduct

This document provides a basis that guides behaviors and actions at KPMG, focusing on integrity at the forefront.

When it comes to the client-firm relationship, KPMG is dedicated to confidentiality, quality, engagement, and ethical practices, setting high standards for IT consulting firms and instilling trust in their clients.

IT Consulting Capabilities

Traditionally, KPMG is not as well-known for its IT consulting services, however, their visibility has increased significantly due to sound strategies and expanded IT consulting capabilities.

The IT consulting arm of KPMG assists clients in the following areas:

  • Developing appropriate IT strategies
  • Regulating and controlling financial and operational risks
  • IT risk management and controls
  • Assistance with outsourcing or offshoring IT services
  • Cost optimization
  • Logistics and chain supply issues

Partnering with KPMG for IT consulting services can be extremely advantageous for a business, because the firm is independent, objective, and focuses solely on the business impact of technology.

KPMG offers its clients the following IT consulting services:

  • Applications Rationalization
  • Business Alignment
  • Cloud Strategy and Deployment
  • Change Management
  • Data Center Strategy and Optimization
  • Demand Management Infrastructure
  • Rationalization
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Technology Business Management
  • Employee Engagement

Rating Summary

KPMG may be more known for its audit capabilities however the firm has also created a robust IT consulting arm that compliments their advisory services. They use cutting-edge solutions to improve revenue growth, mitigate risk, and help clients streamline operations.

With a commitment to integrity, a talent for data analytics and application, and a goal of enhancing overall value for their clients, KPMG earns 5 stars as a top-rated IT consulting firm to consider partnering with this year.

Related: Best Economic Consulting Firms | Ranking and Comparison

McKinsey & Company Review

Helping organizations set a course to reach their most important goals, McKinsey & Company is a global IT consulting firm that partners with businesses, government and non-government entities, and not-for-profits.

The firm works with people in 65 countries and has 30,000 professionals working to help clients create change that matters. They have a history that spans over 90 years and champion a commitment to diversity and strong values.

Key Factors That Led Us to Rank McKinsey as One of the Top IT Consulting Firms

Investments in Knowledge

The success of McKinsey is anchored in a detailed, in-depth understanding of each client’s institutional context, sector dynamics, and economic environment.

Researching these aspects is something that the firm is strongly dedicated to, investing over $600 million each year to studying markets, trends, and best practices across the globe to provide the best insights possible to their clients.

Not only does McKinsey share its findings with their clients, but they also publish the results of their research on a regular basis, supporting a global community of thought leaders.

A great example of McKinsey’s dedication to research is Women Matter, a research initiative which reveals the importance of gender diversity on a localized and a global scale.

Women Matter has celebrated over a decade of global research, and the most current findings can be found in Five-Fifty, a series of reports and articles exploring why women continue to be under-represented in management to this day.

2019’s Top Technology Consulting Companies

2019’s Top Technology Consulting Companies

2019’s Top Technology Consulting Companies

2019’s Top Technology Consulting Companies

Digital McKinsey

For clients looking for the best IT consulting services, Digital McKinsey is a one-stop-shop for all things related to IT, data, and technology. This top IT consulting firm offers over 20 different services, each grouped into specific goals to help clients:

  • Disrupt with game-changing strategies
  • Build a digital culture
  • Modernize core technology
  • Create stunning digital experiences
  • Turbo-charge marketing & sales
  • Optimize your operations

No matter what a company’s specific IT goals are, Digital McKinsey uses a value-based approach to navigate the complexities of a changing environment, reinvent the base of an organization, and maximize the effectiveness of their IT consulting services.

According to McKinsey, the result is a 25x average return on fees, making their IT strategy consulting services excellent value for many.

Rating Summary

McKinsey & Company is a firm that is not only committed to making a positive impact on their clients’ businesses but also on the world at large. They believe in creating change that matters and you’ll find that represented in the firm’s social initiatives and diverse, global corporate culture.

With a full range of services, a commitment to social responsibility, and a reputation for innovative change, McKinsey & Company scores 5 stars as one of the best IT consultancies to consider working with in 2019.

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Cognizant Technology Solutions Review

Preparing companies for the future of work, Cognizant is a top-rated IT consulting firm that works to advance companies in scale and speed through the use of digital technology.

The firm has a global footprint and a reputation for sustained growth and increasing its expertise through acquisitions. This top IT consultancy is ranked 193 on the Fortune 500 and is consistently named as one of the most admired companies in the world.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of Cognizant as a Top IT Consulting Firm

Global History & Perspective

For companies that need an IT consulting firm with a global perspective, Cognizant is an excellent fit. The firm first began in India as a technology unit of Dun & Bradstreet and began working with external clients in 1996.

Two years later, Cognizant made its initial public offering, becoming the first software services firm listed on the NASDAQ. The company experienced a period of rapid growth in the 2000s, leading it to be recognized on the following corporate listings: 

  • Fortune 500
  • Newsweek’s World Green Ranking
  • Financial Times Global 500
  • Fortune Global 2000
  • Forbes FastTech 25

With the rapid growth and ongoing success, Cognizant has expanded across the world, with more than 270 offices and digital hubs throughout the world.

For companies that likewise want to expand their global footprint, the firm’s international history and expansive reach can offer significant advantages when competing on a global scale.

The Cognizant Difference

As one of the top technology consulting firms, Cognizant adheres to a comprehensive value proposition, which relies upon client service, deep domain expertise, and vast global resources.

Called “The Cognizant Difference,” their value proposition is designed to implement digital transformations across large, established companies. It includes the following:

  • Deep technology and industry expertise at the scale required
  • Long-term, trusted relationships that help to implement their clients’ most essential business processes
  • An agile, diverse, globally born team
  • A client-first culture
  • A sound management track record

Rating Summary

Cognizant has greatly increased its IT consulting expertise and depth of experience through strategic acquisitions that have positioned them as one of the top global IT consulting firms to work with.

Although the firm definitely has top industry expertise, our review process also takes firm culture into consideration, which is ultimately why Cognizant has been awarded a 3-star rating.

Reviews from Cognizant employees on sites such as Vault and Glassdoor are significantly lower than the other top IT consulting companies on our 2019 ranking. Many employees note frustration with a lack of organization, work weeks over 50-hours, and little room for growth.

This is problematic because, in our experience, the best client experiences with IT consulting services come from team members that feel empowered and fully supported by their firm and have an appropriate work/life balance.

While Cognizant holds an excellent set of client-facing values, this IT consulting firm may benefit from improving their workplace culture to foster employee contentment and wellbeing. This is a move which could easily cause them to score higher on a future ranking.

Related: Best Boutique Consulting Firms | Review and Comparison Ranking

Tata Consultancy Services Review

Dedicated to helping clients create the future, Tata Consultancy Services is a global IT consulting firm that combines technical expertise with business intelligence.

Tata was originally founded in India in 1968 and has since grown to employing 436,641 professionals in 46 countries across the world. This top-rated IT consultancy works with clients across 10 industries and counts American Greetings and GE Power among its customers.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of Tata Consultancy Services as a Top IT Consulting Firm

Cognitive Business Operations

Tata has been recognized as a leader in digital augmentation. The firm’s cognitive business operations work to digitally enhance operations by using technology to enable superior outcomes, reduce costs, and boost capabilities.

Three key solutions this top-rated IT consulting company utilizes in this area are:

  • TCS Analytics & Insights Services: Designed to increase the response rate, reduce the cost of customer acquisition and decrease marketing spend
  • TCS ValueBPS™: Helps power accelerated business growth and speeds the reach of company goals
  • TCS Utility Solutions: Ensures firms can leverage analytics to reduce cost-to-serve, maximize profits, and improve customer outcomes

By taking a holistic approach to technology-driven success, Tata helps clients realize their goals faster, more efficiently, and with a better chance of rapid adoption and sustainability.

CHROMA™ Talent Solution

IT consulting firms that develop and deploy their own IT solutions offer additional value to their clients and can often customize their solutions to fit a client’s distinct needs.

One of Tata’s application offerings is a human resources platform called CHROMA™. This tool is designed to help enterprises rapidly adopt best HR practices, promote team collaboration, and nurture talent.

This unique IT solution is designed to manage a team from hiring to separation and includes benefits such as:

  • Agile HR Practices
  • Collaboration and Work Culture
  • Nurtured Talent
  • Greater Levels of Employee Engagement
  • Potential Tapping Across the Enterprise

A testament to any IT consulting firm’s expertise is the creation of their own applications that can help companies get ahead, and this one is just one of many offered by this top-rated technology consulting firm.

IT Consulting Firms to Consider in 2019

IT Consulting Firms to Consider in 2019

IT Consulting Firms to Consider in 2019

IT Consulting Firms to Consider in 2019

Rating Summary

Tata Consultancy Services has worked to become a more well-known name beyond their part of the world, and their standing as 16th in the world on Vault’s 2019 Best Consulting Firms for IT Strategy Consulting (up a position from last year), shows that they’re headed in the right direction.

With a focus on custom IT solutions and a wide range of experience and industry know-how, Tata has earned its place among other top-rated consulting firms.

However, we did find that the firm could better improve their employee satisfaction ratings on sites like Glassdoor. Satisfied employees go a long way towards ensuring clients are well taken care of and are also satisfied with their experience.

On average, TCS employees on Glassdoor give the firm a rating of 3.7, a rating that is at the low end when compared to other top-rated IT consulting firms on our list. Thus, we have scored them with 3-stars.

Many employees reviewing the firm cite issues with high workloads, making it difficult to manage a healthy work-life balance. Another common concern is that the firm has poor internal communication.

We’ve noted that the firm is going in the right direction with a slightly higher Glassdoor rating by .3 points than last year. So, with a continued focus on employee satisfaction and a nurturing workplace, they could easily score a higher rating on a future ranking.  

 Popular Article: Top Consulting Firms (Review: Best Management Consulting Firms)

Wipro Technologies Review

With a passion for helping their clients succeed, Wipro is a top multiservice firm that was founded in 1945 and offers IT consulting, system integration, and digital strategy services.

This top IT consulting company employs a team of 160,000 that serve clients across six continents. They harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, analytics, and other emerging technologies.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of Wipro as a Top IT Consulting Firm

History of Reinventing Itself

Wipro was first incorporated to produce vegetable and refined oils in 1945 as “Western India Palm Refined Oil Limited” or “Wipro” for short. The company later expanded into IT consulting in 1982 while continuing its consumer products manufacturing division.

Wipro secured a wide range of significant deals with various companies throughout the 2000s, including Lockheed Martin and Nokia Siemens Networks in 2007 and ATCO in 2014.

In 2014, Wipro was selected as the DSJ Global Sector Leader for the Software & Service Industry. Two years later, this top IT consulting company became a player in the US health insurance market with its acquisition of HealthPlan Services.

Innovative Client Themes

As a top-rated IT consulting company, Wipro is dedicated to skillfully implementing technology and innovation for each of their clients. It works with some of the most emerging technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

This IT consulting firm works with clients in 25 different industries helping them harness the power of IT to transform their core operations. The firm’s technological expertise includes the following areas:

  • Big Data
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud
  • Cybersecurity & Enterprise Risk
  • DevOps
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Enterprise Ops Transformation
  • Industry 4.0
  • Internet of Things
  • Mobility
  • Open Source
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Software Defined Everything

Rating Summary

Wipro has a history of positive change in its own organization and has helped clients in multiple industries similarly grow their businesses through the use of data-driven solutions.

The firm has a reputation for being ahead of the trends when it comes to new technologies and having a wide range of IT consulting capabilities covering everything from data analytics to hyper-automation.

However, although Wipro has demonstrated strong growth in the past, the firm is beginning to show signs of difficulty competing with other top global IT consulting firms, which is why they’ve scored a 3-star rating.

Although Wipro is still a top-rated IT consulting firm and has a lot to offer companies looking for technology guidance, the firm will need an additional competitive edge to compete with authoritative IT consulting firms like McKinsey & Company and IBM.

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Conclusion – 2019 Top 10 Best IT Consulting Services & Technology Consulting Firms

Technology is perhaps one of the first areas in a company where the benefits of a consultant are quickly recognized. The speed of evolving technology is starting to separate those businesses that can keep up from those that can’t.

The best IT consulting firms can come in and look at an organization’s most immediate needs first, then provide the right technology solution to engage change, reduce costs, and improve overall productivity.

The data analytics capabilities of IT consultancies can ensure principals have the information they need to make smart, informed, and strategic business decisions. IT consultants achieve this through the harnessing of company and client data and comprehensive reporting.

If you’ve been wondering how your company can take better advantage of technology to drive your workflows and organizational processes, the right top IT consulting firm can take your dreams and turn them into a digital reality.

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Image sources:

  • https://pixabay.com/illustrations/artificial-intelligence-brain-think-3382507/
  • https://www.accenture.com/us-en/about/inclusion-diversity/gender-equality
  • https://www.capgemini.com/events/hpe-discover-2019/
  • https://www.ibm.com/services
  • https://www.mckinsey.com/
  • https://www.tcs.com/tcs-chroma

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Council Post What Is A ‘Managed Service’ Anyway

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In the technology world, many people think they easily understand the term “managed services,” but when they’re prompted to define it, they have a hard time doing so. What does it mean to receive managed services for a system or set of systems? What does a managed services provider (MSP) do when they manage your environment for you?

Typically, I’ve found that the definition of a “managed service” is widely different depending on who you ask, which actually makes a lot of sense.

In the customer’s mind, they think, “I am going to outsource the management of 10 pieces of networking gear.” To the customer, that means the setup, installation and configuration of the equipment will be handled by the service provider. The provider will configure the items to best practices, provide ongoing patching and monitoring, harden the configurations from a security perspective, fine-tune the settings for performance and dynamically change the configuration state to meet business needs on the fly. If there is a connectivity or functionality issue, they will work to resolve it after having identified it through their systems, with or without the customer telling them to. The provider will also repairreplace hardware as needed and perform all items under a strict service licensing agreement (SLA) and then provide reporting that proves adherence to that SLA.

Those are all legitimate assumptions of what a “managed service” is, but the finer points often differ from reality.

In the MSP’s mind, we are going to take over management of the customer’s 10 pieces of networking gear. To us, that means the initial setup has already been completed. If new installations are required, that is the responsibility of the customer — or a new, separate, out-of-scope project can be executed for the initial deployment and configuration of those new items. The equipment will be documented for “current running state,” and a baseline will be established for the customer’s normal operating performance. “Best practices” is an ambiguous term, so configuration changes will be made to ensure the steady running state in accordance with known operating issues and recommended vendor configuration settings. A runbook or order of operations will be generated to establish triage and tasks for maintenance as well as escalation paths for incidents, either related to performance or remediation. The ongoing patching, securing and monitoring will be executed in accordance with the runbooks, and incidents and anomalies will be triaged through ticketing. In the event of physical repairreplacement, if the customer’s equipment is under warranty and support contracts are current, we will work with the associated vendor to facilitate services requests. All activities and management will be executed under a strict SLA with reporting that proves adherence.

It is immediately clear that the customer’s goal-based objectives are different from the operational and sandboxing mindset of the MSP.

Often, the parties try to perform reconciliation of these two mindsets through contracting or within statements of work. That typically fails, as the interpretation of both parties differs in the same way that their mindsets differ.

If we think of an MSP managing a server for a customer, the scope of the statement of work may indicate that the MSP will ensure the healthy running state of the server’s operating system environment (OSE). What is healthy? Does the MSP also manage the virtual host that the server sits on? What if it is in the cloud and the cloud provider controls the virtual host? What if the MSP performs work on the virtual host, but that is out of the scope of the statement and the customer is charged extra? Then, the customer will argue that they shouldn’t be charged because all they want is for their system to be running in a healthy state.

That is why, from the MSP’s perspective, it must be all about baselines. If the customer agrees this is the baseline for typical operations, the MSP can capture that, improve it with efficiencies, maintain it and keep it up to date. Again, this is very different from the goal-based objectives of an MSP’s customers.

So, what is the best way to reconcile these two mindsets?

Understanding each other’s perspective and building a partnership is the first step. The customer must understand they are purchasing a maintenance service, and the MSP must provide frictionless paths for the customer to meet their goals.

The second step is to use contracting. Agreements must be explicit, and both parties need to use the agreements to validate their mindsets. The customer must point to the sections that validate their goal-oriented mindset, and the MSP must push back where there is scope creep. Also, whether it is part of deliverables or not, the customer’s goals and reasoning for receiving services must be documented.

Communication is also crucial. All too often, a customer who purchases services to meet a goal doesn’t tell the service provider that their goals are not being met. They often point to times to resolution (TTRs), SLAs or other metrics that they didn’t care about previously. As soon as they impact a goal, though, they use service metrics as a manifestation point for their frustration. On the flipside, the MSP must clearly communicate what is in their scope and what is outside of it, and they must do so often. Many times, the MSP will execute out of scope tasks to help a customer meet an objective. That should be communicated. Even if there is no extra charge, expectations need to be continuously level-set.

As long as there is a buyer and seller, there will be confrontation and the epic pushpull of negotiation. When it comes to MSPs, though, we can all stand to clarify and communicate more and push the transactional negotiations to the surface right away for everyone’s mutual benefit.

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