Gartner Market Research: A Death Knell For Business Consultancy?

Gartner Market Research: A Death Knell For Business Consultancy?

The Gartner BTPM Summit 2016 heralded the shift that is taking over the business world: transformation. Countless studies have illustrated the alarmingly high failure rates of major transformation projects (upwards of 70%) and research organizations like Gartner are scrambling to offer a sustainable solution to clients that invest millions in their services.

In reaction to the needs of their client base, the former Gartner Business Process Management Summit was re-named the Gartner Business Transformation and Process Management Summit, a name that reflects the shift from strictly business processes to total business transformation. Referencing Gartner’s change in focus, panelist Eric Sluis (former CIO of Achmea) noted, “that’s really the game, because business process management just brings you to more efficiency or more effective processes, but I think that complete enterprises need to be transformed.”

Mavim sponsored the Gartner Business Transformation and Process Management Summit for the first time precisely because of this change. Process management is an undeniably critical part of total business transformation, but the shift in the market, brought on by disruptors indicates that more needs to be done. Major change initiatives don’t fail only because of an immaturity of process management, but for a diverse number of reasons including but not limited to a lack of connection between the Business and IT (aka a failure to see IT in its role of supporting, not opposing, the business), as well as the inability to translate strategy into consequential project execution.

As a sponsor, Mavim was not only there to meet with analysts and attendees that share our vision, but also to get feedback from the market. To that end, Mavim did market research* that lead to some surprising results.

Participants were asked to rate the following well-known aspects of business transformation on a five point scale of how essential they are the ultimate success of a transformation initiative.

  1. A business process blueprint
  2. A best-practice transformation methodology
  3. Business Consultancy
  4. Communication tools or methods that enable end-user adoption
  5. Live project status and dashboarding
  6. One software package that supports all the above-mentioned elements

The results illustrated clearly that business process blueprinting is still a critical aspect of total business transformation, and there is clear need for one tool that supports the interconnected vertices of major change efforts. However, the most surprising result was arguably the element considered least important: namely, business consultancy. For decades, business consultancy has been the go-to solution for large corporate entities. Yet, in spite of the amount of money thrown at consultancy, the success rate of major change initiatives has stagnated around the 20-30% mark. This study** indicates shifting attitudes—the recognition that business transformation is a more complex problem than previously thought.

Because transformation is high risk, proper alignment of people, processes, and technology is critical. Discrete change initiatives might be able to succeed without sufficient alignment, but transformation requires a much broader set of capabilities. Transformation requires a more dynamic coordination of resources (both human and financial), stronger collaboration across organizational silos, and continual communication as the transformation progresses.

This research indicates the changing tide at least within a certain segment of the population. If nothing else, the Gartner summit was a gathering of like-minded individuals who are tired of utilizing the same outdated methods of the past and are looking for the new, innovative solution of the future.

The study was initiated based on the assumption that all participants in the study considered business transformation to be a critical initiative for their own company or within their industry.
** It is also worth noting that of the people who answered our survey, 57% classify their job titles as belonging to the BPM discipline, 14% EA, and 29% as broadly business transformation.