Most executives and business professionals have encountered business consultants at one time or another. But to many, consulting services and the value they provide can remain mysterious. CGI is among the firms that offer business consulting services that are an integral part of its portfolio of services. Understanding how consulting works across different disciplines and industries is vital for those seeking to effectively engage business consulting professionals who can drive their missions forward.

What is business consulting?

Business consulting is the practice of providing independent and expert advice and support to organizations and decision-makers to improve their performance and efficiency. Business consulting aims to develop, refine, and coordinate strategy, transformation, and tactics to support a client's business direction, positively affect business performance, and improve an operating result.

A business consultant – or team of consultants – engages organizations to identify areas where improvements can be made and to develop strategies for implementation. They work closely with company executives and decision-makers to analyze business processes, identify problems, and develop solutions.

Are there different types of business consulting?

Business consultants typically have expertise in one or more areas, such as strategy, operations, finance, Human Resources (HR), or Information Technology (IT). Each consulting category has its own approaches, processes, and goals.

4 types of business consulting

  1. Business strategy
  2. Operations
  3. Organization and change management
  4. Information Technology (IT)

Business strategy consulting

This type of business consulting focuses on helping organizations define a direction and delivering advice on aligning with a chosen strategy. The strategy may include developing a growth plan, restructuring, buying and/or selling of assets, or revitalizing leadership.

Business strategy consultants help organizations with the definition of their vision, mission, and strategy and support them with major corporate initiatives. They also help executives set goals and address the alignment of resources to achieve specific organizational results. Business strategy consulting includes:

  • Corporate strategy
  • Corporate finance
  • Equity operations (investment, divestitures, mergers, and acquisitions)
  • Business model transformation

What is operations consulting?

Operations consulting focuses on helping organizations improve their operations and processes to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction. Operations business consultants analyze an organization's current processes, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies for implementing changes. This may involve redesigning workflows, implementing new technologies, improving supply chain management, or optimizing production processes.

The goal of operations consulting is to improve the efficiency of the value chain and processes. These services include activating growth strategies, developing and implementing target operating service delivery models, executing cost reduction programs, and optimizing business processes. Operations consultants help clients:

Understand market trends and customer behaviors, design a compelling product and services portfolio at the right price, enhance client engagement and loyalty, and ultimately deliver the business promise operationally. Optimize demand, supply chain, production planning, and execution, from purchasing intrants and services to delivering the final product and services, from managing key assets to maintaining production capacities. Improve and secure budgeting, accounting, costing, controlling, and optimizing financial transactions, investments, real estate, and treasury management. Assess risks (of any kind), design mitigation and recovery plans, and ensure compliance with regulations and corporate policies.

Organization and change management consulting

This type of business consulting focuses on translating business strategy into an optimal organization, consistently aligning corporate purpose, strategic goals, organizational structures, leadership and cultural behaviors, and workforce and talent management. Creating a high-performance organization requires optimizing an organization's structure and roles and changing its ways of working and its approach to building and aligning capabilities in leadership and culture. Organization and change management consultants help clients:

  • Design optimal organization, governance, and operating models to support strategic objectives.
  • Plan and facilitate all initiatives to ensure a smooth, effective, and sustained transformation of culture, behaviors, leadership, and processes.
  • Define and implement an HR strategy to support strategic objectives, reinvent the managerial model, activate employee engagement, anticipate, recruit, compensate, align, and build competencies.

What is the purpose of Information Technology (IT) business consulting?

This type is the practice of providing expert advice and guidance to organizations on optimizing their use of technology to create a competitive advantage and achieve their business goals. IT consultants work with organizations to assess their current IT systems and infrastructure, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies for implementing new technologies and processes. This includes everything from selecting and implementing new software systems to improving network security and developing new IT strategies to support business growth.

IT business consulting aims to help organizations use technology to improve their efficiency, reduce costs, and achieve their strategic objectives. IT consultants help clients:

  • Align their technology strategies with their business strategy.
  • Leverage the potential of new technologies to create new products and services, and optimize their business processes and costs, by identifying relevant business use cases and defining implementation strategies.
  • Design enterprise architecture and identify and introduce relevant technology innovations while planning and orchestrating IT modernization.
  • Improve their CIO organization and IT supply chain and processes, optimize cost and operations, and manage innovation, key assets, talents, and third parties.
  • Anticipate and assess IT and cyber risks, design mitigation and protection strategies, help comply with regulations, plan relevant crisis management processes, and conceive recovery plans.

Are all business consulting services the same?

Individuals or firms can provide business consulting services, and they may specialize in any of these various areas. But regardless of their field of expertise, they should have some common qualities to be effective for the organizations that engage them. Any entity looking to hire a business consultant should look for specific attributes that align with your goals and objectives.

Benefits of hiring a business consulting service:

  • Expertise
  • Objectivity
  • Efficiency
  • Flexibility

Bring in the business experts

Business consultants should bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. They have a deep understanding of business practices and trends and can provide valuable insights and advice based on their expertise.

Business consultants remain objective

Consultants should provide an objective perspective that can be difficult to achieve from within the organization. They can help identify problems and opportunities that may not be apparent to those immersed in the business's day-to-day operations.

Improve efficiency with business consultants

Business consultants should be able to help streamline processes and procedures, which can lead to greater efficiency and cost savings. They can also help businesses adopt new technologies and best practices to improve performance and productivity.

Business consultants are flexible to meet your company's needs

Business consulting services can be tailored to the specific needs and goals of the organization. Consultants should be able to work on a project-by-project basis or provide ongoing support and guidance as needed.

Will my industry benefit from business consulting?

Companies can free up internal resources by hiring a business consulting service to focus on their core competencies and strategic objectives. This can help the business achieve its goals more quickly and effectively. Overall, hiring a business consulting service can be a wise investment for companies looking to improve their performance, solve problems, and achieve their goals. Business consulting services can benefit a wide range of industries, including:

  • Healthcare: Consulting services can help healthcare organizations improve their operations, manage costs, and comply with complex regulations.
  • Financial Services: Consultants can provide financial analysis, risk management, and strategic planning to financial institutions such as banks, investment firms, and insurance companies.
  • Manufacturing: Consultants can help manufacturers improve their processes, reduce costs, and increase productivity through lean manufacturing and other best practices.
  • Retail: Retail businesses can benefit from business consulting services that help them improve customer experience, optimize supply chain management, and develop effective marketing strategies.
  • Technology: Consultants can help technology companies develop and implement new products and services, manage their supply chains, and improve their operations.
  • Energy: Consulting services can help energy companies navigate complex regulatory environments, manage risk, and identify new growth opportunities.
  • Non-profit: Non-profit organizations can benefit from consulting services that help them develop fundraising strategies, manage their finances, and improve their operational efficiency.

What types of services are provided by business consultants?

Business consultants provide a range of services that can help organizations achieve their strategic goals and improve their performance. They bring deep expertise in various areas, such as IT, operations, finance, and strategy, and can provide valuable insights and advice based on their experience working with a diverse range of clients.

CGI business consultants have experience working with clients in various industries, such as healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, and government. This industry-specific knowledge can help organizations navigate complex regulatory environments and develop tailored solutions to their unique challenges.

5 examples of CGI's business consulting services:

  • Digital transformation
  • IT modernization
  • Business strategy
  • Change management
  • Data management

CGI can help you start your journey to digital transformation

CGI Digital Transformation services help organizations leverage technology to transform their business processes, improve efficiency, and deliver better customer experiences. These services include digital strategy development, technology consulting, and implementation of digital solutions.

CGI's Digital Transformation experts work closely with clients to understand their unique needs and goals and then develop and implement tailored solutions that drive business results. These business consultants can help organizations leverage emerging technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline operations, improve customer engagement, and create new revenue streams. Overall, CGI Digital Transformation services enable organizations to embrace digital technologies and innovate for the future, positioning them for long-term success in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

IT Modernization Consulting Services with CGI

CGI IT modernization services help organizations transform their IT systems to meet the demands of the digital age. These services include assessing the current state of IT systems, identifying areas for improvement, and developing a comprehensive strategy for modernizing IT infrastructure, applications, and processes. CGI IT modernization services can help organizations leverage emerging technologies such as cloud computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and deliver better customer experiences.

CGI consultants have deep expertise in various IT modernization areas, including legacy system modernization, application modernization, data center consolidation, cloud migration, and cybersecurity. With these services, CGI helps organizations drive innovation and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Tackling business strategy with CGI business consultants

CGI business strategy services are designed to help organizations develop and implement effective strategies that align with their overall goals and objectives. These services include strategic planning, market analysis, competitive intelligence, and business process improvement. CGI business consultants work with clients to understand their unique challenges and opportunities and then develop tailored strategies that address those needs. They provide expertise in areas such as market research, trend analysis, and risk assessment, as well as a deep understanding of industry-specific factors that can impact strategy.

CGI business strategy services can help organizations identify new growth opportunities, optimize operations, and position themselves for long-term success in a rapidly evolving business environment. The ultimate goal is to help clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage by developing and executing effective strategies that drive business results.

CGI's change management business consulting services

CGI Change Management services are designed to help organizations manage and navigate change effectively. These services include a range of strategies and tools to help organizations prepare for change, communicate change effectively, and manage resistance to change. CGI Change Management consultants work with organizations to develop customized change management plans tailored to their specific needs and goals.

Some critical components of CGI change management services may include stakeholder analysis, communication planning, training and development, change readiness assessments, and change impact assessments. The goal of CGI Change Management services is to help organizations successfully navigate change and achieve their desired outcomes while minimizing disruption and resistance.

Data management services with CGI

CGI's data management services are designed to help organizations manage and leverage their data effectively to drive business value. CGI provides a range of data management services, including data governance, data quality, data integration, data warehousing, and master data management. These services are designed to help organizations improve the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of their data and enable them to integrate data from multiple sources and store it in a centralized data warehouse.

CGI's data management services can also help organizations create a single view of their master data, such as customer or product data, and use it to make informed business decisions. Overall, CGI's data management services can help organizations unlock the full potential of their data to improve decision-making, drive innovation, and gain a competitive edge.

The value CGI business consultants provide

Over more than four decades, CGI has grown into one of the world's largest providers of high-end IT and business consulting services. In rapidly changing times, we help our clients boldly set their ambitions and clearly drive their course to the future with confidence. We bring insights you can act on based on facts, creating a path for future growth and sustainable value.

For both IT and non-IT challenges, we help organizations choose the best path for transformation and work collaboratively every step of the way. The digital expectations of customers and citizens are profoundly transforming how business is done. That's why CGI supports clients in developing digital strategies by applying a unifying framework and industry-tailored approach that recognizes transformation is about people, not technology.

Ultimately, this means focusing not just on technology but also on modernizing delivery, change, culture, and development of a sustainable culture that embraces innovation. This is where a holistic business consulting team can create real value.

Partner with CGI for your business consulting needs and watch as we quickly help you straighten out the kinks in your operations and pave a path towards success. From digital transformations to change management services and more, we'll make your next transition as smooth as possible, so all you have to worry about is watching your business grow.