The below information is reprinted from Consultancy.org and hopes it acts as an encyclopedia for someone who wants to know about Consulting.
For professionals working in the professional services, ‘consultant’ and advisor’ are often used and fall under common terminology, but what exactly do these terms mean? Consultancy.org zooms in on this field to get a closer look at the origins of the consulting industry, and provides insights into the main features of consultancy and the ecosystem in which consultants operate.
Consulting is defined as the practise of providing a third party with expertise on a matter in exchange for a fee. The service can involve either advisory or implementation services. For the consultant, taking an independent and unbiased stance on an issue is central to their role. A consultant can, in principle, service any sector. Over the past decades, the term has become synonymous with business advisory – which focuses mostly on business strategy, management, organisation, operational processes and technology.
The history of the consulting industry traces back to the late nineteenth century, with the founding of the world’s first modern consulting organizations, also known as business advisory firms. In the early days of the consulting industry (starting in the US and later crossing over to Europe and the rest of the world) the first consultancies focused their advisory services mainly on solving technical and financial concerns. Today, over 300,000 consulting firms in the UK alone – of which the majority are sole proprietorships – offer all sorts of different services, spanning across countless fields, disciplines and sectors.
Type of Consulting:
Strategic consulting services aimed at corporate / business unit strategy or government policy.
Consulting services that deal with management, business and organisational matters.
Focuses on operational performance, spanning supply chain, procurement, finance and outsourcing.
Advisory services that revolve around human capital matters and/or offerings aimed at the HR function.
Financial based consulting services such as corporate finance, restructuring and actuarial services.
Technology services aimed at improving and managing the IT-infrastructure of organizations.
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