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  • Melina Hong

Consulting - It means more than a buzzword.

What exactly is Consulting? It's such a buzzword - It could simply mean providing advice to a friend or family member on the problems they are facing. However, we'd like to share more with you about what makes consulting a career. It is a way of solving some pertinent business challenges.

Why do businesses need to pay consultants to help solve their own problems? Well, imagine this scenario. You finally have your own home, and you are ready to renovate it and make it look good. Sure, you could do everything on your own if you knew how, or source everything by yourself, from contractors, painters, to the furniture and even designing everything exactly how you want it. But at what cost? For someone new to this, how could you possibly do these on your own?

Hence, this is where an interior designer comes in. By providing them with your needs and your budget, they propose various designs and solutions to suit your needs. Here, the designer taps on their expertise, knowledge and resources that they have to design and renovate your home. Just like how a homeowner is trying to solve the issue of planning and renovating their home, businesses are trying to solve the problems and challenges they face in the best possible way. By definition, consulting is creating solutions to business challenges designed by specialists in their respective fields of the challenge. Therefore, Consultants play a huge role here in providing their knowledge and expertise to help solve these business challenges and help businesses conclude what's best for them, therefore addressing their needs.

With business challenges, it takes a community of people to work together to get it right and address the issue head-on. Just like there are many ways to solve a problem, a consultant would provide various ways to solve a business challenge or even digestible information understandable by someone who is not an expert in the respective fields of the challenge. The client or customer would then consider these solutions and information to decide what suits them the best. The consultant is also expected to answer any queries or clear any doubts that the client or customer would have regarding the issue.

There are many reasons why businesses require Consultants aside from just trying to help them solve a business challenge. This includes providing companies with specialised expertise as they might possess skill sets that are unavailable internally. They can also offer the business an outsider's perspective. This is beneficial as consultants are usually third party entities, therefore being more objective and providing factual evidence that would help the company make important decisions on how they would want to move forward.

Consulting consists of different types. The two main ones are Management and Technology Consulting.

Management Consulting is an umbrella term for various business areas such as strategic and operational areas. Management consultants are usually also known as business consultants who have the expertise and knowledge in the related field of business, focusing on organisational concerns ranging from business strategy to other management aspects. As management consulting is an umbrella term, here are some more commonly known management consulting areas.

  1. Strategy Consulting - Focus on strategic topics such as corporate/organisational strategy, economic/government policy.

  2. Financial Consulting - Focus on financial and analytical capabilities within an organisation.

  3. Operational Consulting - Focus on improving operational performance in businesses.

  4. Human Resource Consulting - Focus on human capital questions within an organisation and improving the performance of HR departments.

Technology Consulting mainly involves helping businesses with the development and application of technology within their organisation. Technology consultants mainly focus on transitions or projects in the ICT landscape than a regular IT employee who works on day-to-day IT operations. Projects that tech consultants work on would usually include implementation or system integration. Technology consultants lead teams towards technology goals through delivery stages, which encompasses requirements gathering, design, development, testing, and service introduction.

Consulting is a very diverse and exciting career option that would definitely provide you with opportunities to grow in terms of technical and management skillsets. If the above sounds interesting to you, then you are definitely in the right place! Moving forward, TheTechNative will focus on equipping you with soft and hard skills that you will need to kickstart your career in Consulting.

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