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MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??

#1 MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??
14/10/2012 17:09


One of the Director's at a recent Big 4 assessment centre made a case that the pure strategy houses are shifting focus to more tech focussed engagements as they aren't making money on pure strat work.

Is this correct?

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#2 RE: MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??
15/10/2012 08:12

itsalongwaytoharrogate to Bravehearted (#1)

Check out mckinsey solutions (

There's currently a drive to leave more behind than just powerpoint slides and a few metrics.

Wouldn't say it's a shift to tech consulting though. Strat will always be the place to be.

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#3 RE: MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??
15/10/2012 09:18

baykus to Bravehearted (#1)

I would say the director's comment is misdirection with a core of truth.

Yes, McKinsey has had the Business Technology Office for ages, BCG has an IT strat division etc.

But - there is a huge gulf between this and what constitutes tech consulting at Big 4, however. If you think of it as a venn diagram, there'd be a sliver of overlap. The majority of Big 4 tech consulting is implementation and systems integration, which is out of scope for MBB - what is in scope is consulting at senior management level on tech strategy, tech enabled operations/marketing etc. in the same way as any other non-tech related strat/ops/marketing project.

The core business of traditional strat houses is management consulting - high level concepts, decks, benchmarks, and yes, now proprietary tools/solutions.

The core business of Big 4 is audit/systems integration/outsourcing, with management consulting done as a way of either selling on other business or to market themselves as a 'one stop shop'. This is not to say that their management consulting arms are poor or can't compete, but that their strategic commercial aim is not really the service they themselves provide.

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#4 RE: MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??
15/10/2012 12:35

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to baykus (#3)

The purse strategy houses have always pretended to have a good tech capability, but frankly they have no technical delivery capability whatsoever. They can plan IT OK, but can't go implementing software or building infrastructures.

And as regards the pure strat work, there's far less of that than there used to be. I mean, who in their right mind would pay £0.5M for a 50 page PowerPoint deck? Cuz that's what it boils down to. As for the quality of the advice contained in said deck - well, often dubious at best. I was looking back through some ecommerce decks from the late 90's recently, and was astonished just how bad the advice being given was. Some of those senior guys had no clue whatsoever, absolutely no clue.

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#5 RE: MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??
15/10/2012 12:59

baykus to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#4)

Agree 100% on the delivery & implementation aspect; as I said, this is not an area strat houses play in and they don't pretend to want to deliver technical projects.

You don't pay for the deck, and you sure don't judge what you're getting by the number of pages - that's like counting lines of code for productivity (''I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short''). You pay for the advice, which is of course sometimes wrong. If it were right 100% of the time you'd be paying a lot more for it.

Also, the size of the strategy market has not actually shrunk, but it has become saturated. You don't see the big projects as much anymore, but the total size is the same.

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#6 RE: MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??
15/10/2012 15:05

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to baykus (#5)

I think I'm going to de-register from this forum.

Not because of anybody on here, but because I spent about 10 mins typing a really good post for this thread which has just "disappeared". I guess it ws either a technical problem of some sort, or alternatively my views of the MC industry were too cynical, too true, and probably too eloquently expressed to make it onto a public forum.

Oh well.

I guess that's the problem with the Internet these days. So much moderation that all one ends up with is an empty room. It reminds me of the IRC chat rooms from the 90's - everybody was so concerned with kicking and banning people from the chat room for even the most minimally contentious of views that eventually nobody was left.

What makes content interesting on a message board is "the truth". I want views, rumours and opinions, not just the "official line" on everything and everybody agreeing with each other in fear of being cast out by their superiors.

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#7 RE: MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??
15/10/2012 16:06

Bryan Hickson ( to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#6)

Sorry to hear you lost your forum post "Bushy Eyebrow Partner". It wasn't taken down by us moderators here at so it must have been a technical problem after all.

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#8 RE: MBB shifting focus to Tech Consulting ??
16/10/2012 09:08

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bryan Hickson ( (#7)

OK, thank you Bryan. Good to hear that this forum's not being excessively moderated, like a particular Money Saving Forum I can think of which seems only to allow agreeable left-wing posts to get through. A bit annoying I lost the post but I guess that's Microsoft Windows for you.

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