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Co-founder and CTO of XpertiseNow, Sundi Balu, talks about how technology is revolutionizing the consulting industry.
Q: How is technology changing client needs in the consulting sector?
A: First, clients want uniqueness. The second thing is that they want to hear from practitioners, people who have actually been there, done that, and who have the scars in to prove. This is very, very important because they’re looking for good value for money. When you look at those expectations, then what tends to happen is that they tend to gravitate towards technology-driven outcomes.
Technology offers greater capability to ingest a lot of data and identify the patterns and deliver insights. That should be coupled with human capabilities, to deliver a meaningful proposition. And that’s where XpertiseNow’s value proposition comes in.
Q: So how is technology disrupting consulting?
A: We are at a fork in the road. People in the industry often talk about the ability to collaborate and reuse knowledge across geographic boundaries. They find it extremely difficult because it all comes back to each organization, how they collaborate, and what constraints they have.
Now technology is unleashing the power of collaboration. No longer is information and knowledge constrained within a single human’s hands. It’s accessible for everybody. It is fundamentally the democratization of data. But I go as far as saying it’s the democratization of insights. If you hark back to the elitist era where you used to have these exclusive clubs where certain information was held within those clubs, now imagine a society where people are on social media where they can get access to the same insights. Even when we go to the stock market, for example with services like RobinHood, people can trade stocks, even pre-IPO, which was previously held in the realms of very few people.
Look at the paradigm and that’s exactly what’s happening with the management consulting industry because access to technology is has unshackled businesses and people from accessing insights and knowledge that used to be held within the realms of certain individuals who work for those organizations.
Q: So how does this translate into what XpertiseNow is doing?
A: I think the exciting thing now is technology and platform-led approach is the future of what’s going to happen. There will always be people who are skeptical who say, “my industry will not or cannot adapt to or will not be disrupted by a platform.” But I can tell you there are so many examples — whether it’s in the logistics sector, whether it’s in supply chain, whether it is in hospitality, or in any sector for that matter — of everything being disrupted by new platforms, by new technology-led approaches. I believe that this is fundamentally what’s going to happen. You may not see the actual results today. But it is definitely where the current is going. That’s where we’re here, at XpertiseNow, to capitalize on that threat.