Digital consulting is a boosting market. According to Statista, it has been on the rise starting from 2011 and has grown by $7 billion since then.

In this context, large global consulting companies - McKinsey, YE, Deloitte, BGT, etc. - have been expanding their services to digital and managed a range of tactical  acquisitions to enhance their IT capabilities. These moves, in turn, relate to the ever-growing demand for the design, technology and analytics professionals in business. For more and more companies adopt digital transformation and address to the consultancies for this purpose.  

At the same time, IoT and big data play an important role in this demand. Today, the executives in different industries place connected technology and data analytics in the core of their digital transformation strategies. Therefore, tech-savvy and non-tech companies rely on the capabilities of digital consulting firms to help them drive IoT and data intelligence to operations, experiences and processes.

Here are the key reasons why digital consulting has a serious impact on the way IoT and big data technology integrate into business.

1. Digital consulting encourages adoption of new digital channels, services, tools and experiences.

Connected technology has huge potential in the majority of industries. It is diverse and builds on many types of tools and channels - hardware, trackers, wearables and voice assistants, web and mobile controls, apps, data software. Moreover, IoT instruments - platforms and toolkits, sensor technology, data analytics and visualization solutions - continue evolving.

And yet, today, we have just started to reveal the capabilities and benefits of IoT and big data. Besides, together with the opportunities come the challenges of the emerging technology - connectivity, security, standardization, etc.

Consultants help business leverage new technology and solve associated challenges. Digital consulting implies a range of services, from building and implementing the whole digital strategy to designing new digital experiences. When driving connectivity, IT consulting firms rely on their expertise and knowledge to help companies:

Find and integrate the right IoT and data tools according to the client’s goals, technology capabilities and industry practices.

Discover and build the systems for the digital channels to better connect people with things, and things with each other.

Design and create relevant digital experiences for the users of the new IoT and data systems.

Cognizant helps a retail chain keep the food fresh using sensors

A food supply chain was wasting around $300 million worth of food yearly due to the inefficient refrigeration system. The reasons were the slow alarm that could reach the operational team not sooner than in 5 hours and lack of early-warning system. In order to solve this problem, the company addressed to Cognizant consulting services.

Cognizant has elaborated the strategy to reduce the waste and improve the efficiency of the refrigeration system, using IoT and data analytics. The company connected all the fridges with one device responsible for the retrieving sensor data on a regular basis and sends it to the custom IoT platform. This platform monitors the fridges across all the stores, sends prompt alarms and predicts failures. It enables better efficiency of the appliance usage and thus reduces the amount of spoilt and wasted food.

2. Digital consulting enables enterprise intelligence and transparency

Data has a huge value for business. As more companies adopt IoT and sensor technology, the volume of data they own and produce is only growing. However, many of them still struggle trying to cope with their assets - find the right tools for analysis and visualization, extract relevant insights that matter and impact decision making, build correlations between these insights.

Digital consulting has the right expertise and capabilities to drive intelligence and transparency into enterprise data. Consultants help:

Create data strategy identifying what data is important, how to cope with real-time and legacy data, what to focus on at data analysis and visualization.

Find and/or build digital tools for data collection, transfer, processing, analytics, visualization, storing and security, including advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques.

Design and develop user interfaces and dashboards that demonstrate data insights and their correlations, allow building reports, pulling out necessary data and monitoring the changes in real time.

Intel helps Fujitsu subsidiary efficiently track rework products

Shimane Fujitsu - the leading notebook and tablet manufacturer in Japan - was losing money and time in the inefficient rework cycle. The company didn’t have a system for product tracking and inspection monitoring. Additionally, the lack of product movement transparency caused delays and errors during product inspection.

To solve the problem, Intel has put sensors on each product subjected to rework. Together with Shimane Fujitsu, they’ve built the solution to collect data from these sensors. This solution allows visually mapping and monitoring each product and reporting the status of products on dashboards in real time. As a result, it enables faster and flawless rework cycle flow. Moreover, this custom IoT solution allows prioritizing and managing rework more efficiently; reduce time by 20 percent and shipping cost by 30 percent.


3. Digital consulting helps improve efficiency at lower cost and risks

One of the most successful applications for IoT and data analytics is driving efficiency into spending, operations and processes.

For example, using connected technology to monitor product and service usage allows identifying potential weaknesses and strengths and implementing relevant optimization. On a bigger scale, measuring the performance of the whole buildings or systems, such as energy consumption or irrigation on the fields, allows to find the waste of resources and cut it down.

Digital consulting companies specialize on finding these potential savings and help companies introduce efficiency into their operations and processes. IT consulting services help companies:

Select and install monitoring systems to operations, processes, products and services.

Develop and configure the analytics for real-time tracking data and integrate predictive models if needed.

Reduce the risks and optimize the costs associated with such transformation.

Accenture turns a hotel into a smart building and helps the company save millions of dollars

A hospitality company addressed to Accenture to reduce energy waste and the cost of equipment maintenance in one of the hotels. Even though the building was causing significant financial losses due to high power consumption and inefficient operations, the company was focused on performing the transformation and at the same time maintaining the guest comfort.

Accenture relied on Accenture Smart Building Solutions to deal with this challenge. Leading digital consulting agency installed the toolset to pull the data from building management and equipment controls. Analyzing this data allows to forecast potential equipment failures before they happen and identify the opportunities for energy consumption optimization.

Additionally, Accenture created performance dashboards with monthly reporting. These insights allow tracking the progress and watching the impact of the transformation. In general, this initiative allowed the client to save $250 million per year on power and equipment failure.

4. Digital consulting helps redesign products and services in the light of emerging connected environment

IoT and data technology can not only help optimize products and services, but also redesign them according to the up-to-date market needs. In fact, IoT data coming from physical ‘smart things’ and connected services already becomes the primary source for usage-based design in many industries - manufacturing, retail, banking, etc.

Digital consulting specializes on design and user-centric experience. Not for nothing, major digital consulting companies like Accenture and Cognizant have acquired design agencies to augment their digital capabilities.

Thanks to solid expertise in user experience, customer behavior, design best practices and analytics, consultants help their clients:

Leverage connected technology - smart appliances, sensors, wearables, mobile tools, etc. - to collect valuable insights on product and service usage and identify redesign opportunities.

Analyze customer journeys, competition, market trends and design practices to define future redesign plans.

Implement product and service redesign and integrate usage analytics for further optimization.

IBM helps improve the design and exploitation of KONE elevators

KONE is the world leader in elevator and escalator production who transports over 1 billion people around the world daily. The enhancing complexity of cities and buildings observed in the recent decades made the company adjust both their physical products and services to the growing speed of people flow.

KONE addressed to IoT technology and data analytics to design and build more intelligent, efficient product and services. Thanks to IBM Watson IoT, the producer was able to introduce access and destination controls, advanced equipment monitoring and personalized customer experience on millions of elevators world-wide.

Today’s KONE elevators are designed to recognize passengers by their badges before they push the button and group people with similar destinations to save time and reduce power consumption. In addition, the new design enables remote elevator call by smartphone and personalized news and forecast streaming on board.

Sourced IoT Evolution - written by Katherine Lazarevich