Big four’s consulting revenues on a tear

April 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Big 4 on fireThe WSJ reports that the Big Four make more money from their consulting businesses than they do from their traditional audit business and those consulting revenues are growing at a much faster rate than the flattish growth in audit.

Worth a quick skim.


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Funny: Hackers

April 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Another classic from the New Yorker.


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Consulting firm rankings

Interesting little report from IDC (“IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Business Consulting Services 2018 Vendor Assessment”) on consulting firm rankings for 2018. The takeaway for me was how closely clustered all these firms are. Also, I’m not sure which buyers actually look at these rankings for consulting.

Consulting firm rankings


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Uber’s Marcus Aurelius

Nice article on Uber’s new CEO in the New Yorker this week. Some familiar stuff (Uber’s awful culture, their brash tactics) plus some more light on the new CEO’s background (immigrant from Iran, the board room drama behind his appointment, India refusing to give him a visa when he was CEO of Expedia) etc. Quote of the article for me (from an ex-Uber employee):

The elephant in the room was whether the business model even works

Definitely worth a read.

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MBB vs AI?

There are so many articles about how AI is going to take over the world that it’s hard to keep up. However, one such (well written) article in the Economist this week caught my eye. In particular the following quote on the impending demise of the consulting business model:

The Googles, Amazons and Microsofts of the world may take over from the McKinseys, Boston Consulting Groups and Bains,” says Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta, a venture-capital firm. “Consultancies are built for two-by-two matrices. AI’s matrices are a million by a million

Although I’m clearly biased, I don’t think that’s the right framing. It’s not MBB vs. AI (or MBB vs the tech firms) it’s going to be whichever firm is able to leverage AI to support its consultants.

Categories: consulting, technology Tags: ,

IoT increasingly used to evolve business models

Sort of interesting data on the use of IoT data over the years from IDC (Source: IDC European Vertical Markets Survey, 2017). Key thing that struck me was the fact that an increasing number of companies are actually evolving their business models to take advantage of the data.

IoT use evolution

While IDC threw out the usual exemplars for this business model evolution (Kaeser Kompressoren selling air as a service, illy self-ordering coffee machines), I actually found an example from the “smart lighting” industry more instructive, where a lights provider is able to get a new revenue stream by selling data separately from the lights.

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Cloud ML wars

March 28, 2018 Leave a comment

MIT magazine has an interesting article on the state of the war between the major software players and their focus on ML to get an edge. Most of what they say is pretty well known: Google is ahead, AWS and MSFT are strongly chasing. All the major players are releasing the “Visual Basic” of ML (CloudML from Google, SageMaker from AWS e.g.). Two things that caught my eye. One was the the following quote:

For the past seven years, every business planning document at Amazon has had to include an explanation of how the unit would make use of machine learning

It’s the seven years that’s surprising. The other thing in the article was what was not mentioned: the increasing strength of the China based tech players, especially in ML.

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