Is Your Digital Consultant Capable?
Consulting has become a quite glamorous, idealized job, thanks to hotshot Hollywood movies and heightened interest around digitalization. Recently, we’ve seen global digital consulting revenues almost double to $44 billion in a mere 18 months. But here’s the catch: unlike engineers, architects, or even Airbnb hosts… anyone can claim to be a consultant.
How do you determine if your digital consultant can do the job?
Well, we’ve compiled five key questions that will help you determine if your “digital expert” is capable of piloting your business through the rapidly changing waters of digitalization – without crashing the boat!
1. Experienced in Their Specialization
Digital consulting can be one of those blanket terms that’s thrown over everything before you realize that you don’t quite know what it involves. For example, let’s imagine that you’re in the retail industry right now and you want to add virtual reality features to your shop. Now…digital consultants, just like they’re not all experts, don’t all come in one size.
The same digital consultant who excels at strategizing and brainstorming the “big picture” goals of your VR project, simply won’t be the same as the one who analyses your VR pilot results and tells you what you need to do differently. The consultant you hire to make sure that your company adheres to digital regulations won’t be the one who works to stabilize your business after a merger. And goodness forbid you try and fit someone who works exclusively to develop company culture into the role of a blockchain expert – you’re more likely to end up with a cyborg project that’s screwy and doesn’t make sense!
Figure out what their specialization is right away. And, also give them the floor to describe their greatest successes. They may have one automatic answer cooked up for interviews, but probe a little deeper and ask about their smaller accomplishments as well.
Key question: What do you specialize in, and how have you succeeded in that field?
2. Knows Their Limitations
Remember that unlike other professions, if your digital consultant capsizes your virtual boat, you can’t sue them for malpractice. In fact, you have to pay them for their time and effort. So…select one who knows what they’re qualified to take on – and what they’re not!
Yes, we just told you that your consultant should be competent and specialized. But often, the best consultants are also the ones who have worked as professionals long enough to have failed at some point. Once this happens, they start filtering, only taking on projects that they know they can handle. Then, they excel at delivering results.
Key question: What are your limitations, and do you have a set of criteria for which projects you decide to take on?
3. Possesses a Track Record of Professional Conduct
Although this may not be popular at first, you should find someone who can clearly define what they need from you and draw their boundaries. Yep – this means that they probably won’t take on extra work that falls outside their contract or acquiesce to all your demands. Before you protest, however, think: would you rather have a digital consultant who scurries to do everything that you ask, or who does what they deem necessary extremely well?
5. Is HUNGRY for Cutting-Edge Knowledge
Unless you want to be stuck with a “digital expert” who just upgraded from MySpace to Facebook and just figured out that BlackBerry, AOL, and Mp3s are old news, you had better discover if this consultant is committed to constant learning. For example, consider blockchain technology. Bitcoin didn’t exist until 2008, Ethereum didn’t launch until 2015, and Cosmos didn’t connect blockchains until…2019!
Digitalization moves FAST. That’s why Richard Branson believes that: "For a consultant to be successful in this quickly evolving world, he needs the ability to adapt frequently… [and possess] a zeal for lifelong learning."
Key question: How do you stay up-to-date on what’s going on in your specialization, and what is one idea that you’re currently exploring?
Is Your Digital Consultant Actually Capable?
- Experienced in their specialization
- Knows their limitations
- Possesses a track record of professional conduct
- Leads and collaborates with purpose
- Is HUNGRY for cutting-edge knowledge
If you’re looking for help checking off this list, that’s our specialty. We pair you with a Consultport strategy partner to clarify what you require for your project, find you a consultant who is highly qualified in that specialization, and send you a proposal within 48 hours. No matter which path you decide to take, remember: choose your digital consultants wisely!