Digital and technology advice, business transformation and strategy are the key priorities UK business leaders say they will need most help from consultants on in the future according to a new survey conducted by the MCA, the Management Consultancies Association.

The independent survey of 250 UK industry decision makers across the public and private sector was commissioned by the MCA, the trade association for the leading consultancy firms in the UK and conducted by VIGA, a global research company. The survey found that use of consultants was widespread across large and small companies with 84% of businesses polled confirming they used consulting services and 81% of respondents saying consultants had met or exceeded expectations.

Efficiency emerged as the top most important current business challenge across the public and private sector, followed by Brexit, digital deployment and dealing with disruption from AI and automation. 65% of Government & Public Sector leaders cited efficiency as the leading business challenge, followed by Recruitment & Retention, Productivity, Digital deployment, dealing with AI and tech and then finally Brexit. In contrast more than half of Financial Services and Manufacturing leaders saw Brexit as the leading future business challenge. The results of the survey show consultants are valued most when they deliver forward looking external help like transformational support, knowledge transfer, efficiency and support with digital challenges. In the public sector consultants are valued most when they provide independent thinking and transformational outcomes.

Tamzen Isacsson, CEO of MCA, said: “We’re encouraged by the feedback from business leaders about the value of consulting to organisations and believe our member firms are well equipped to assist businesses with the challenges of digital and technology upheavals in the future. Brexit is of critical concern to many businesses across the UK, but, as this study shows, there are many other pressing business issues that companies need to focus on to remain competitive and grow. It’s vitally important that businesses get certainty as soon as possible this month on our future relationship with Europe so they can plan and prepare for Brexit and then get on with the important job of improving the efficiency of their organisations.”



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