COVID-19 drives a transformation in the delivery model and a sustainability revolution in the security consulting space
Today’s launch of “The Forrester Wave(tm), European Cybersecurity Consulting Providers Q3 2021” is today. This report features fifteen firms, which represent a mix of international security consultants and regionally-based security pure plays. In the last 16 months, there has been a significant shift in the European security consulting market in terms of how it delivers value for clients. We learned this from our interactions with providers and customers during the evaluation.
- Remote delivery didn’t have much impact on client projects. I was surprised to find that very few complaints were raised. Many complaints revolved around the usual themes of price, value, overpromising and underdelivery which are all part of this market. Remote delivery has been a huge success, resulting in significant financial savings for clients and a positive environmental impact. This shift is a great opportunity to make the change permanent. Client travel is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions for many consulting firms.
- It will be less important to rely on “onsite” or “in-country”, consultants. __S.11__ Remote delivery was more widely used by firms in Europe and worldwide. Firms with a higher reputation could offer their clients more competitive pricing.
- It’s time for consulting firms to stop using innovation theatre. This is because it’s 2015! One of the most painful features of Forrester Wave evaluations was seeing questionable camera work by several firms trying to show physical lab spaces with machinery, IT equipment and innovation rooms/lab facilities in the middle of a pandemic. Instead of focusing on what these spaces are actually being used for, firms were focusing too much on how they got them. It’s not enough to have fancy facilities and expensive coffee. It is important for consulting firms to pay attention to how these facilities can deliver new IP and provide services that are tangible for clients. Customers should question firms about the purpose of these facilities and what they can expect in terms of tangible results.
- Pricing models that are based on outcomes and risk sharing mechanisms should be used by security consulting firms in response to growing pressure on their margins. This study found that 60% to 90% of the work of consulting firms still uses fixed-price and time-and-materials pricing models. Many firms now use risk-sharing, outcomes-based, asset pricing, and pay as you go service models to make their services more affordable. An organization may pay for a percentage of the savings achieved by following the consultant’s advice. This is in addition to the cost of the consulting time.