The consulting industry is one of the most varied markets within the professional services sector, and as such, a wide range of consultant types can be found. In addition, being a “consultant” is not a protected professional title like most other professions, so anyone can qualify as a strategy, management, business, finance, human resources, or IT consultant. This has led to an increase in the number of independent consultants in recent years. With so many different types of consultants available, it can be difficult to find a common definition of “consultant”.
Operations ConsultantsOperations consultants are professionals who help clients improve the performance of their operations. Consulting activities in this segment range from advisory services to practical implementation support for the two main functions (for example, sales, marketing, production, etc.). Finance, human resources, supply chain, ICT, and the legal sector are all areas in which operations consultants work. This is the largest segment of the advisory industry and most consultants work in one of the many underlying operational areas.
As operations are often associated with the strategic and technological side of a company, active operations consultants often work side by side with experts in these fields.
Financial ConsultantsConsultants who work in the financial advisory segment generally work on issues that address the financial capabilities and analytical capabilities of an organization. Therefore, the profiles of consultants working in these segments can differ considerably; from M&A and corporate finance advisors to risk management, tax, restructuring or real estate consultants. Consultants specializing in forensic investigation and supporting litigation also belong to the financial advisory segment. Most financial consultants work for large combined accounting and consulting firms or for specialized advisory firms.
IT ConsultantsTechnology consultants, also known as IT, ICT or digital consultants, focus on helping customers develop and apply information technology (IT) in their organization.
IT consultants focus on transitions (projects) in the ICT landscape; unlike regular IT employees who are engaged in daily IT operations (so-called regular activities). Most ICT consultants work on implementation projects; for example in extensive ERP system applications where their role can range from project management to process management or system integration. Within IT consulting, the fastest-growing markets are digital, data analysis (also known as data science), cybersecurity and IT forensics.