Businesses the world over have found success because of one principal reason: they adapted quickly to changes in the marketplace. For enterprises to become competitive today, they must do whatever they can to gain efficiency, and this is often done by improving their technology capabilities. This year alone, enterprise spending in software will reach $620 billion (yes, billion), with a 20 percent growth in SaaS software subscriptions.
For consulting professionals, this is an incredible opportunity you’d be silly not to consider.
If you want to extend your services toa enterprises, you have to know what to sell it in the first place. You have to show them the one thing that they did not know they needed, and it has to be so efficient that they’ll never want to talk to anyone else but you ever again.
One of the biggest competitions of consulting professionals is in-house IT staffing. To beat them, you just have to gain perspective into IT solutions that go beyond their comfort zones, but not so far out that you will take risks. The best tools in your arsenal, in this case, are those that get you ahead of most of the trends in the enterprise space. Here are a few of those:
Enterprise Automation Tools
One of the last things a business wants to invest in is pointless grunt work. ERPs, CRMs, and many of the software businesses use are meant to present a convenience. However, the exact opposite happens when the time comes to performing maintenance and update tasks on these very complex and interconnected systems.
No longer do you have to worry about everything breaking every time you try to update your ERP system. All of the kinks are worked out through an intelligent engine that churns through all of the code, checking where things can go wrong and making the necessary recommendations for changes or adjustments.
It goes without saying that having this in your toolbelt will make it easier to gain the trust of enterprise customers.
Big Data Analytics
It would be foolish to have a system that collects an enormous amount of data Day-in, day-out only to have no way to crunch the numbers in a way that is easily readable. Big data analytics and business intelligence should be at the front of your repertoire as a consulting professional. Familiarity with these systems pays off as more companies are starting to invest significant amounts of capital in ways to find unforeseen trends and correlations. Sixty-five percent of senior executives believe that they risk losing relevance if they do not analyze their data more adequately.
Decisions are now more data-driven than ever, and the enterprise market is starting to realize this. If you do not catch up with this trend, you will be left behind by others who are more knowledgeable about what is currently happening in the business sphere.
We are not just talking about Google Drive here. The enterprise cloud ecosystem is much more complicated than that. If you want to remain relevant, you will have to dive into the intertwined rabbit hole that is virtualization. In the event that you have not done so already, familiarize yourself with technologies offered by AWS, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, Hyper-V, and everything else that has “virtualization” written in its description.
Larger companies are currently virtualizing almost everything they use, to minimize or avoid reliance on legacy server boxes. The reason virtualization has a 92 percent penetration rate, reaching all the way to the small business market, is because adopters enjoy a hefty amount of scalability along with the sovereignty of their data. Regulations are also veering them in this direction (e.g. HIPAA, PCI DSS, and others).
Sure, you might be able to swing yourself into an advisory role at some up-and-coming company without any certification, but that just might go belly-up very quickly. To earn a more competitive spot, you are better off getting certified. The Microsoft MVP program, for example, gives you lots of street cred among some of the top firms. You could also vie for something more traditional, like the ICCP’s CITC certification, which requires thorough examination plus a specialty examination. SAP also has some certification programs it offers to people who are interested in collaborating with in-house professionals in consulting with companies on their ERP platforms.
The enterprise market is making full use of a vast array of technologies to help them find ways to drive efficiency. If you time this correctly, you just might be able to snatch up a piece of that pie. However, do not procrastinate. Integrated solutions will take up a large part of the market before long, and once it is saturated, you’ll have a very hard time introducing yourself. Do what you have to now, familiarize yourself with the solutions you intend to work with and make sure you do it twice as quickly as you think you can.