Technology consulting: graduate area of work
Technology consulting is about understanding what clients want to achieve for their business and advising on how they can use their IT to deliver those business outcomes. Businesses in all sectors use technology consultancies and they tend to do so for a couple of reasons: either they’ve seen a new piece of technology that they want to use or they are facing a business challenge.
For example, it might be that a client has good systems and tools but what they really want is to make their customer journey more efficient and enjoyable. Or a client might have recently acquired another business and wants to understand the most effective way of bringing together all their different legacy systems and introduce standard ways of working.
What you need to know about technology consulting...
Students should be passionately involved in keeping on top of the latest technology trends. Technology consultancies need to keep up to date with technology and they must also continually evolve their consulting tools. For example, some of our clients want to improve the way they collaborate to get better and quicker solutions, and they look to us to understand how they could do this. We would recommend they use different collaboration tools like Yammer, Slack or SAP Jam to improve their collaborative experience. We would also look at the behaviours we would need to change throughout the business to drive adoption of those new solutions.
We also work with our clients on ‘agile’ programmes. Agile is about fixing problems through a series of ‘sprint cycles’ rather than tacking a big problem all in one go. This means we can be a lot more adaptable in the way we design a solution, tweaking it as we go, rather than trying to come up with the end product straight away.
We often ask graduates in the selection process: ‘Are you prepared to travel?’. Your client base could be all over the country and you will often be working away from home for most of the week.
Who can apply?
Graduates in any degree subject can go into technology consulting. Consultancies have a diverse set of roles – from programmers to testers, business analysts, project managers and change consultants – so your skills set could apply to a number of different roles across the business.
Technology consulting isn’t just about IT, but providing value to customers. Although clients tend to come to us with technology issues, these usually originate from a business problem of some kind.
One of the key strengths needed is collaboration. It would be very easy for consultants to assume they immediately have the right answer for a client because they have fixed a similar problem before. However, to find the best solution they need collaboration skills to understand the challenge and bring about bespoke solutions.
Career progression in technology consulting
Regardless of their role, all technology consulting graduates are likely to do certain core tasks, such as presentations, building a network with colleagues and clients, and attending training programmes. They can usually reach middle management around the four to six year mark. Employers, including Capgemini, see their graduate programmes as a great way to shape future leaders rather than just hiring them later on.
RACHEL HEAD is a business transformation consultant for CAPGEMINI. She has been working in technology consulting for 20-and-a-half years.
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