IDC MarketScape Reports Find Business Consulting Services Vendors Very Capable in Providing Technical and Functional Insights, Weaker at Sticking to Project Schedules

FRAMINGHAM, MA -January 20, 2011- International Data Corporation (IDC) has published four new MarketScape reports assessing the capabilities and business strategies of a number of providers participating in the Worldwide, Asia/Pacific, EMEA, and Americas Business Consulting Services market. IDC MarketScape vendor analysis reports utilize a rigorous scoring methodology that produces a definitive assessment of each vendor's current market capabilities and strategies for competing in the future.

In all four studies, IDC evaluates providers making up the "Big Four" firms — the four largest international accountancy and professional services firms, including Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC. In addition, IDC analyzed multidisciplinary firms (large, diversified consulting organizations that offer a range of business consulting services to clients across a myriad of sectors), technology-led firms (large, multifaceted firms that are known for deep expertise in both technology and business consulting), and specialty firms (firms that have focused areas of consulting expertise in specific industries, functional areas, or technologies).

IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Business Consulting Services, 2011 (IDC #226443) finds that worldwide, firms are generally very capable of providing technical and functional insights — two areas that consulting buyers rate as very important to both the success of a project and as selection criteria. Meeting project timelines was universally considered to be the most important characteristic for both selecting a firm and for a project's success. However, enterprises were somewhat disappointed with their consulting firm's ability to stick to project schedules and to meet previously agreed milestones. While nearly all firms claim to be focused on maximizing the value of their projects, buyers believe this to be one of the weakest performance areas for consultants overall.

Worldwide, the IDC Marketplace methodology placed Deloitte, Mercer, and PwC in the "Leaders" category. Deloitte is seen as the most capable firm at ensuring ROI that maximizes client value and at meeting project timelines. It is also considered among the most capable firms across several essential characteristics, such as providing a full range of consulting services and providing technical insights. Mercer, the global HR consulting, outsourcing, and investment services firm, is seen as the most capable firm at helping clients to reduce costs and leverage talent. Mercer is also seen as the most capable at providing industry insights in its area of expertise. Overall, PwC is seen as the most capable of all firms at leveraging local resources, applying proven methodologies and tools, and helping enterprises to comply with new or existing regulations.

IDC MarketScape: EMEA Business Consulting Services, 2011 (IDC #225463) reveals that in EMEA firms are seen as generally most able to meet project timelines. Compared with other regions, projects in EMEA were more likely to meet their project timelines and consultants were given credit for that success. Firms are generally seen as very capable at leveraging and applying methodologies, although enterprises don't see that capability as vital to project success. In general, firms are not seen as being fully capable of providing functional insights and industry insights. While nearly all firms state a focus on maximizing the value of their projects, buyers believe this area to be one of the weakest performance areas for consultants in EMEA. IDC placed PwC and Mercer in the "Leaders" category for the EMEA region.

According to IDC MarketScape: Asia/Pacific Business Consulting Services, 2011 (IDC #226464), firms in Asia/Pacific are generally seen as very capable at providing technical insights and meeting project timelines. However, while firms are generally strong at leveraging global resources, local buyers are less interested in global capability. Enterprise buyers expect firms to rely more extensively on local talent to ensure project success. Firms are also not seen as being fully capable at delivering functional or industry insights as enterprise buyers would hope. Although firm capability at delivering functional insights is high overall, in Asia/Pacific, enterprise buyers expect a greater capability and ability to provide innovative functional and industry solutions. Deloitte and Mercer are placed in the "Leaders" category in the Asia/Pacific region.

Finally, IDC MarketScape: Americas Business Consulting Services, 2011 (IDC #226465) shows that in the Americas, firms are generally very capable at providing technical and functional insights. Interestingly, firms were seen as somewhat over emphasizing their industry insights: an area where the firms were seen as highly capable, but also an area not as important as a selection criterion. Consulting firms in the Americas were also seen as capable of providing a "full range of consulting services." However, this capability was also not rated highly as a selection criterion or as a criterion for project success. This implies that while it is important for firms to have a range of capabilities as a business model, buyers of services are much more interested in the services that apply to them. While nearly all firms state a focus on maximizing the value of their projects, buyers believe this area to be one of the weakest performance area for consultants in Americas. PwC alone was listed in the "Leaders" category in the Americas region.

"Most business consulting providers are particularly adaptive to changes in economic or business conditions, such as adding or removing staff by geography, industry specialization, or domain expertise," said Cushing Anderson, program vice president, Project-Based Services – Consulting, HR and Learning. "We believe to be successful, it will be important for vendors to create visible links between project strategy and 'business execution'. Establishing deeper expertise in strategically valuable areas of growth, industries, and geographies, will also be vital."

About IDC MarketScape

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT (information and communications technology) suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor's position within a given market. IDC MarketScape provides a clear framework in which the product and service offerings, capabilities and strategies, and current and future market success factors of IT and telecommunications vendors can be meaningfully compared. The framework also provides technology buyers with a 360-degree assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.

For more information about IDC MarketScape, please contact Karen Moser at kmoser@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com [http://www.idc.com].

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