Help! I am an IT Consultant. What should I do?

IT CONSULTANT

Help! I am an IT Consultant. What should I do?

February 16, 2018 – The risk of obsolescence caused by technological progress is even threatening jobs previously thought of as safe. As both SAP and new market entrants keep accelerating innovation cycles to hold up with market demand, specialized tech consultants find it increasingly difficult to stay relevant. Job positions are reduced dramatically or moved elsewhere. Working in technology is becoming a tightrope walk: keep a too broad focus and risk falling into the generalist’s trap, specialize in an area and risk becoming obsolete.

Technological progress is rendering specialized consultants obsolete at a staggering pace

Disruptive cloud-based technologies add to the difficulty of taking career decisions, as speed and degree of their adoption can hardly be anticipated. Such has been seen in how Salesforce has been able to rapidly snatch up market share in the Customer Relationship Management solutions space, rendering SAP CRM experts irrelevant at a mind-boggling speed.

SAP SuccessFactors, a full SaaS HRMS integrated cloud solution within SAP S/4HANA, faces immense competition with Workday’s cloud-based HR technology and Oracle’s HCM cloud platform, each taking a big piece of the market share. This not only gives potential clients sufficient options for an HR/HCM system of their choice, but it also strips away the once unique SAP software and consequently hampering SAP HR/HCM experts.

It’s all about the business process, stupid!

Acceleration in innovation cycles to keep up with market demands will see many new tools emerging, and it will be increasingly difficult to keep up with them all. Consultants need to become tool-agnostic and position themselves as business process experts instead. At the end of the day, no matter what tools you use, the goal will always be to optimize the client’s business processes. Because of that, consultants need to focus on a process specialization and keep a consistent track record.

Continuously keeping an eye on market trends and taking a few weeks to simply train on emerging tech, will not only leave you prepared for changes but also increase the value you bring to your clients. This is done by bringing in additional skill sets out of the norm of the simple SAP consultants and offering different insights to the clients. At the same time, this will safeguard you from becoming a consultant whose SAP skills can be generalized (commoditized), and thus easily dispensable.

Follow this checklist to stay relevant

1. Focus on a business process, avoid tool-dependency
2. Watch the global trends and understand the market demands in your area of specialization
3. Keep looking for new players and technology that could be a threat to you and take counter-measures (i.e. educate yourself on their products, find advantages/disadvantages, benefits on business process it provides for customers etc.)

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© Avoras – People and Technology