Finding the Top IT Consulting Firms – Intro
T consulting firms are companies that advise organizations on how to use information technology (IT) in the best way to achieve their business goals. In addition to just providing counsel and recommendations, these IT consultancy firms often also deploy and administer IT systems for their clients, which is also known as outsourcing.
It is critical that companies looking to hire an IT consultancy carefully weigh their options before selecting a firm to work with. Using the help of a consultant can be a major investment for a company, but it can also have major rewards.
To help determine the following IT consulting firm ranking, the below review provides a comprehensive overview of the services, history, and reputations of the top IT consulting firms in the country.
Award Emblem: Top 7 IT Consulting Companies & Firms
AdvisoryHQ's List of Top 7 Best IT Consulting Companies
- Cognizant Technology Solutions
- IBM Global Technology Services
- Tata Consultancy Services
- Wipro Technologies
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names above to go directly to the detailed review section for that consulting company)
Differences Between the Types of IT Consultancies
The consulting field encompasses a broad range of companies, often with a significant amount of overlap between the different types.
The two main types of consultancies that report to senior management within companies are IT consulting and management/strategy consulting. IT consulting companies solve problems with technology, like how to keep accurate records of all past clients. Management/strategy consulting firms solve broader business problems, like figuring out how to stop a decline in profitability in a certain department.
When you drill deeper into the IT consulting companies specifically, you see two more categories: IT management consulting and IT strategy consulting.
Though the exact definition of these two areas are debated, IT management consulting is generally known as the practice of analyzing the value creation chain in technology processes and determining how they can be effectively optimized for employees and customers. IT strategy consulting fits into IT management consulting and can be explained as helping companies reduce costs, optimize business processes, and reform products and services by means of IT.
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Why Companies Use IT Consultants
Before evaluating different IT consulting firms, it’s important to understand why companies need to hire these consultancies in the first place.
An outside perspective:
When making tough decisions that will affect the future of their company, executives often need an outside perspective to make a truly informed choice. An objective recommendation from an IT consulting company that is free of other motives helps them see the big picture without intrinsic biases.
Those who criticize the use of IT consultancies argue that they are selling insights that are common sense – however, sometimes leaders are so close to the company that they miss the obvious answer to their issue.
They want to use industry or sector best practices:
Since technology consulting firms work with various leading companies in the same sector – like retail or software – they often deal with multiple companies that have the same issues. This leads them to experience the various best practices that lead to the ideal outcome for each company. Consultancies will often preserve this information in white papers or other resources, but, more commonly, the knowledge of top IT consultants is the most beneficial for companies trying to solve a sector issue.
The specialized expertise that IT consultants can provide is often unmatched by internal executives since they only have in-house knowledge to support their actions.
Staff, skill set, and analytic augmentation:
Sometimes, IT consulting firms are brought in simply because a company doesn’t have enough of something they need to get the job done.
This could be a lack of staff – a company may have experienced a sudden expansion that requires more people to take on the capacity of work or it’s facing a large project that will necessitate temporary workers. This could also encompass skill sets. Recommendations that consulting companies make do little good if they can’t be carried out because employees don’t have the necessary skills or abilities, so, often, IT consulting companies will take on training employees in new areas.
Finally, the need for complex business analytics has risen with the increasingly data-driven business environment of the last several years. IT consulting firms usually have access to more resources needed for data mining and market research than other companies do.
What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?
Please click here AdvisoryHQ's Ranking Methodologies for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated firms, products, and services.
Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best IT Consulting Firms
Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of top IT consulting companies. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these technology consulting firms to score so high in our selection ranking.
Accenture is a multiservice consulting firm focused on IT consulting but that also includes several other service areas. It is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, though much of its operations occur in New York. Notably, Accenture is the world’s largest IT consulting firm as measured by revenue. It is a global company, boasting more than 370,000 employees and serving clients in more than 120 countries.
Accenture’s specific IT arm was opened in January 2003 and focuses on implementation delivery and research of technology solutions. It works with virtually any sector, from aerospace to entertainment.
Accenture is continually seeking new team members, regardless of having a specific job opening or not. It has also been known to size up potential recruits before they’ve even finished college and is always looking for the best and brightest in a given field to come bring their skills to consulting.
In addition to typical recruiting tactics, Accenture also holds a women’s networking forum to bridge the consulting gender gap, along with a student empowerment program where Accenture targets scholars in the business and technology fields, from their sophomore to senior years of college.
Accenture began as the business and consulting arm of accounting firm Arthur Andersen. The two sides worked together until 1989 when the consulting group broke off into a separate unit. Skirmishes over profit share continued until 1998, when both sides broke off and Andersen Consulting changed its name to Accenture.
Summary of Accenture IT Consulting Reviews
Most reviews of IT consulting companies on the web are in agreement that Accenture’s services are high quality, but, due to this, its rates are extremely high. This is why most of Accenture’s clients are large, well-known brands who can afford these rates. In this regard, Accenture is much less likely to work with anyone in the SMB space.
For a large company, reviewers cite that Accenture is fairly agile and can adapt quickly and get to know a client’s business and processes extremely well.
Though Accenture hires top-notch people from respected universities and companies, some reviewers cite that there is a large drop in the quality of the work if a more junior-level person is handling the day-to-day aspects versus an executive.
Capgemini is one of the world’s largest management, outsourcing, and IT consulting firms, with over 180,000 employees in over 40 countries. It is currently headquartered in Paris and is divided into four main disciplines: consulting services, technology services, outsourcing services, and local professional services (through Sogeti).
One of the main draws for potential Capgemini employees is the culture. Since it is based in Europe instead of the US, hours are shorter and weekend/night shifts are rare. The work-life balance is similar to working in-house.
Promotions and raises for IT consultants at Capgemini are determined by performance and the level of responsibility they are willing to take on.
Capgemini was first founded as a data processing and enterprise management company in 1967 in France. The company has made several noteworthy expansions since 2000, with the acquisition of Ernst & Young Consulting and, in 2002, the relaunch of its Sogeti brand.
Summary of IT Consulting Reviews
As one of the top IT consulting firms, Capgemini offers many assets to fill the holes in its client organizations. However, reviewers note that often, their accounts get transferred between several different IT consultants which creates a loss of knowledge transfer and continuity.
Cognizant Technology Solutions Review
Cognizant is an IT consulting and business process outsourcing company headquartered in New Jersey. Cognizant was named the fifth most admired IT company, by Fortune, 2016.
Cognizant enables global enterprises to address a dual mandate: to make their current operations as efficient and cost-effective as possible, and to invest in innovation to unleash new potential across their organizations.
Cognizant first began as an in-house technology unit of Dun & Bradstreet but began serving external clients in 1996.
Two years later, Cognizant made its initial public offering after a series of conflicts with restructuring and management. With this IPO, it became the first software services firm listed on the NASDAQ market. Cognizant experienced a period of rapid growth in the 2000s, leading it to be named one of Forbes’ fastest-growing companies for nine years in a row.
Summary of IT Consulting Reviews
Many reviewers of Cognizant praise its depth of analytical and research skills. Cognizant is often listed on the top lists of preferred vendors for many banks and financial institutions because of its high-level security.
However, some clients who have worked with Cognizant note that documentation of its work could be improved as well as the level of organization.
IBM Global Technology Services Review
IBM Global Services encompasses a broad range of IT consulting and services, including mobility, networking, resiliency, technical support, outsourcing, and security. These are split between two divisions: its Technology Services and Business Services.
In recent years, IBM Global Technology Services has drastically cut its India-based workforce as it has shifted away from the outsourced work model and has moved to more high-level IT solutions. The move to more cloud-based and less software-based IT solutions means there is less of a need for companies to build their own software.
Before this, IBM Global Technology Services was the largest IT employer in India.
IBM Global Services began in the spring of 1991 as a way to help companies manage their IT operations. One year later, it created IBM Consulting Group, which handled business transformation and IT strategy consulting service lines.
In 2002, the Global Services brand acquired the IT consulting and management consulting arms of PricewaterhouseCoopers to avoid conflicts of interest in light of the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Summary of IT Consulting Reviews
Despite IBM Global Technology Services being one of the largest IT consulting firms, there aren’t many reviews of its services online.
However, IBM has been known as a legacy and established brand for decades, and its consulting arm benefits from carrying this prestigious name. However, as the shift away from technology outsourcing continues, many believe IBM is scrambling to keep up with the shift to cloud-based technologies and could lag behind more agile and lean IT consultancy firms.
KPMG is an American professional services firm and a member of the “Big Four” of auditors. It is the fastest-growing Big Four firm, citing its investments in employees and key services as being catalysts of its growth.
KPMG is headquartered in Amsterdam and employs nearly 175,000 people. Each national KPMG firm operates as an independent legal entity but is part of an international cooperative registered in Switzerland.
KPMG operates with three main service lines: audit, advisory (which IT consulting falls under), and tax.
KPMG is one of the oldest professional services firms, dating back to 1870, when several accounting firms joined to merge a strong European-based company.
In 1990, the company was named KPMG, later changing to KPMG Peat Marwick in 1991, and then back to just KPMG in 1999.
Summary of IT Consulting Reviews
KPMG isn’t as well known for IT consulting as some of the other IT consulting firms in this ranking. It’s mostly known as an auditing and tax firm, though a surprising amount of its business is dedicated to its advisory arm.
Clients that have worked with KPMG do note that it does a great job at mixing both strategy and implementation into its recommendations and takes a clear, measured approach when advising on IT services.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Review
In contrast to KPMG, Tata Consultancy Services is primarily an IT consulting and technology services firm.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Tata Consultancy Services is a part of the Tata Group and holds offices in 46 different countries. TCS ranked sixth in Forbes’ “Most Innovative Companies” list, making it the highest-ranked IT consulting company and the first Indian company to be included.
TCS’s service lines are organized under the following different categories:
- Application development and maintenance
- Asset leverage solutions
- Assurance services
- Business process outsourcing
- IT consulting
- Engineering and industrial services
- Enterprise solutions
- IT infrastructure services
TCS was founded in 1968, starting with clients that included the Central Bank of India, the Unit Trust of India, and Tata Steel. It was a key player in Y2K software preparations, created the factory model for conversion and developing tools to help with integration and conversion.
TCS became a publicly-traded company in 2004, and, in 2011, it broke into the cloud-based services market, opening up to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Summary of IT Consulting Reviews
As with many of the largest IT consulting firms, reviewers cite that account management can be erratic across the company depending on whom you work with most closely. TCS employs a large amount of contractors, meaning that some people who work with TCS find that getting these temporary employees up to speed on their business can be tedious.
Wipro Technologies Review
Wipro is an Indian-based multiservice firm offering IT consulting, system integration, and digital strategy services. It is the seventh largest IT consulting company in the world, with over 170,000 employees and one of India’s largest publicly-traded companies.
Wipro was first incorporated to produce vegetable and refined oils in 1945 as “Western India Palm Refined Oil Limited” – or “Wipro” for short. The company expanded into IT consulting in 1982 as well as continuing to manufacture consumer products.
Wipro secured a wide range of large deals with various companies throughout the 2000s, including Lockheed Martin and Nokia Siemens Networks in 2007 and ATCO in 2014.
Summary of IT Consulting Reviews
Though Wipro was a consumer goods organization before it launched in the IT consulting market, those who have worked with Wipro cite its professionalism and expertise in how technology can influence business processes.
When looking into engaging with an IT consultancy, it’s important to weigh your options, do your research, and check IT consulting firm rankings. These reviews are a great start for companies looking to hire an IT consulting company and will help you choose the firm that will best meet your business needs.
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