UK Consultancy Industry Growth


It has been a tough year for the UK economy. Restrictions put in place as a result of the global pandemic have had a devastating effect on many business industries. One industry that has seemingly continued to flourish, however, is the UK consultancy sector. Leaders in the industry have predicted a growth of 9% in 2021, despite COVID-19 restrictions. This follows on from an industry growth of 2.5% during 2020.  What does this also suggest? The importance of the UK consultancy sector to the economy and how important it is going to be to rebuilding businesses post-pandemic.  

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) Survey 2021 

The MCA is the representative body for the UK’s Leading Management Consulting Firms. It carried out this survey with a view to finding out what the future looks like for the consultancy sector. The purpose was to identify any key trends, challenges and opportunities facing the sector, particularly in the light of COVID-19. Through surveying several hundred consultants across different sized businesses in the UK, MCA was able to provide data in predicting the short- and long-term future of the sector. 

Why Is The Consultancy Sector Doing So Well?

Businesses and workers have had to adapt to a working from home environment with only limited access to the office. The consultancy sector appears to have made this transition incredibly well. In fact, the sector has continued to thrive in more flexible, remote working conditions. It is also demonstrative of the fact that the sector has adapted well, and quickly, to this new business environment to make sure it can still provide a service that supports its client demands. The success is also a direct result of this ability to adjust and support clients. Businesses and entrepreneurs alike have relied on consultants to help them adapt their own working processes in order to survive a tough economical situation. It goes to show just how important and valuable the sector is in times of difficult transformation. 

Benefits To Clients Of Working Remotely With Consultants 

The survey identified that clients found the following to be benefits of having a remote working relationship with consultants:

  • Less money spent on travelling and hotels 
  • A greater pool of consultants available due to not needing to be on site 
  • An increase in time spent with the clients 
  • Faster decisions being made and quicker implementation of services  

On the converse of this, clients have found it difficult to work through sensitive issues due to a lack of face-to-face meetings and technology (or a lack of) has proven to be an issue. These things will need to be something that the sector will have to consider going forward. 

The Growth of the Digital & Technology Sector 

MCA members have predicted that the area that will see the largest growth over the next 12-24 months will be digital and technology. With 54% of members surveyed saying this, it is leaps and bounds in front of the next two areas. These being government and public sector, and health and life sciences at 26% and 28% respectively. This is unsurprising given the fact that the pandemic has identified how much we rely on digital for businesses to simply survive in a modern world. As we continue to work remotely, and have more virtual client-consultant relationships, advancements in this area will also be incredibly important.  Advancements in the digital field are nothing new. Even pre-pandemic we have been consistently moving more and more into a digital world. This has opened up a need for expertise in the area, and more quickly than ever anticipated. It is therefore safe to assume an increasing number of consultants will either train directly or move into this industry sector.

The Future Of Consultancy 

After a year of uncertainty, the consultancy sector will continue to be critical in improving the state of the UK economy. With predictions strong that the digital and technology sector will grow over the next few years, consultants with expertise in this area are going to be essential. This will likely mean more people than ever choosing to specialise in this area.  Businesses will need help bringing their technology up to speed with an ever-increasingly remote world and will be looking to bring in consultants to help them do this. It is therefore incredibly likely that the predicted 9% growth of the industry over the next year will not only be met, but exceeded. 

Jack Barron, Director

Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. As Director of Invoke Media, he is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of every campaign, getting stuck into the execution of successful at every opportunity.

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