Deloitte goes cognitive, partners with IPSoft

The big consulting firms are racing to add higher value services to their portfolio. Deloitte's alliance with IPSoft is today's example.

Deloitte goes cognitive
Credit: Flickr/A Health Blog

Cloud computing delivers many benefits for end user organizations, but for consulting firms, whose bread and butter is long (some would say torturous) technology implementation projects, the cloud tends to be somewhat toxic to traditional revenue streams.

Seeing this impending hole, the big consulting firms have to find new ways to replace existing revenue streams. As a result, we've seen the formation of digital transformation units within the large consulting firms.

Another trend is to jump into emergent technologies. We have a good example of this today from Deloitte, which is announcing a partnership with IPSoft.

IPSoft is in the business of automating IT and business processes for its customers. You’d have thought that the automation of business processes was anathema to a consulting shop like Deloitte, but as they say, tough times call for drastic measures.

Under the partnership (which the parties call an alliance), Deloitte’s consulting service will be matched with IPSoft’s autonomic and cognitive solutions. The idea being that across particular industry verticals, the two companies will be able to drive more efficient processes and, by extension, more space for organizations to do higher value work.

The alliance builds upon an existing relationship between the two parties. In its previous forays into the space, Deloitte’s findings showed the so-called “self-learning automation” space to be a top five investment priority for over 30 percent of the CIOs it surveyed. This priority fuels a significant market growth for these sort of solutions—and that market growth is attractive to Deloitte for previously stated reasons.

Of course, Deloitte is putting a customer-centric spin on this partnership:

“Deloitte is focused on bringing an issues-driven approach when tackling business challenges,” said Ranjit Bawa, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte cloud and infrastructure leader.  “By collaborating with IPsoft, we’re building solutions to solve real client issues and create new opportunities for cost savings and operating efficiencies. The industry is at a great inflection point in autonomics—and together, we’re able to bring our deep sector knowledge and IPsoft’s innovative solutions to the forefront.”

My POV

This partnership could end up being one of two things: a shallow marketing ploy that delivers little in the way of real benefits or a transformational deal that actually moves the needle for the two parties and their joint customers.

Which of these two scenarios will eventuate is pretty much entirely dependent on Deloitte’s appetite to really, in the parlance of the day, disrupt its traditional business for future security. Everything I’ve seen from these types of organizations suggests that the appetite for this sort of revolution is low and that this partnership will, therefore, wither on the vine.

I’d love to be proven wrong—cognitive computing can, after all, deliver some pretty amazing outcomes for the organizations that adopt it. But those outcomes rely upon both customers and service providers really committing to this sort of change. Whether that will occur remains to be seen.

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