Wondering why you should use a digital platform for your consulting deliverables? Excel, Word and PowerPoint work alright after all. Should you really fix something that's not broken? Yep, sometimes this is exactly what you need to do. Let us tell you why!
In a series of blog posts, we highlight the problem of delivering the results of your consulting services in Office 365. We also look at the pros and cons of developing your own software to digitalize deliverables for your customers, as compared to using established software.
In today's disruptive world, it's important to dare to develop and change your existing business model to meet your customers’ growing needs. If you don't, your competitors will take the lead – and suddenly you'll be left out in the cold.
Put simply, it's no longer enough to offer knowledge, which can quickly become out of date. Furthermore, in today's digital world, it's possible for anyone to stay updated and pick up new skills.
Instead, what's truly needed now is the ability to combine knowledge, models and competitive content – and beyond that, to provide the customer with an effective workflow. A workflow is difficult to deliver in Excel, Word or PowerPoint, and generally requires a sophisticated platform.
Why should you use a digital platform for your deliverables? Here are the three main reasons.
Increased competitiveness in the market
Your customers' requirements are changing and these days they are expecting more than an elaborate PowerPoint as the result of your consultancy. A perfect business model needs to be combined with a really good workflow to create lasting value for the customer.
By delivering a business model with a clear workflow in a digital platform, you increase the chances of good long-term results. The structure and follow-up introduced into the client's work opens up further business opportunities with existing clients.
A platform provides better visibility into the customer's work, and thereby the conditions for you to contribute insights and provide long-term support. So take advantage of this digitalization wave and beat your competitors to the chase by delivering a model in the form of a workflow.
Digitalization creates new business opportunities
When you opt to visualize your model using a digital tool, it becomes easier to demonstrate your work in selling contexts. Within a single glance, you can give prospective clients an understanding of how their workflow can look, which makes it clear why they should choose you specifically!
Once digitalized in a platform, the model is easier to reproduce for several different clients who need help with the same kinds of processes. This means you don't need to reinvent the wheel every time, but in many cases you can use the same configuration to achieve greater scalability in delivery. In practice, this means you can more effectively promote your model and ultimately your brand.
The collaborative functionality a standard platform offers makes it easier to involve more stakeholders on your client's side and eventually expand the model's range of applications – and in the process, your consulting business too.
Less administration = more time for giving advice
It goes without saying that the documentation and management of templates and presentations takes up a lot of consulting hours – but is it honestly beneficial for the client? The real value for the client is created when, rather than working on documentation, you can dedicate more time to providing advice and methodology support.
Developing your own software for this purpose is of course an option, but at the same time this entails significant cost and great risk. Beyond the time and resources such a project requires, flexibility is also demanded to adapt to various client's needs. It's difficult to create custom-built software and it demands development skills to maintain.
Such a high-risk project runs counter to what you should be focusing on: what you do best. Instead, let an established service provider host, develop and support the software you're using. The time this frees up can be used to refine and adjust your client's workflow within the framework of the digital platform.