Consultancy as a whole has been largely protected from the disruptive technologies that have meant widespread changes in other sectors, but, as we have seen huge change in other traditionally immune industries – such as publishing (Kindle, e-books) and the taxi industry (Uber) – it would be arrogant to believe that it will last, said Marco Maestry, Director, Mining Group (UK) at Royal HaskoningDHV in his LinkedIn blog.
Mining Consulting is not traditional consulting however and already endures its fair share of disruption through the cyclic boom and bust nature of the commodity market; this disruption is generally personnel-related and the constant hiring and firing of consultants mirrors the growth and retraction of the wider industry.
However, technological and societal change is catching up with the consulting industry and I think it’s time that we as mining consultants face up to the fact that we are going to experience a makeover and should prepare and adapt accordingly.
“So what is coming next? Mining asteroids? Maybe. Deep-sea mining? Probably. Autonomous mining as standard? Almost definitely. This article explores what changes in the mining industry coupled with wider consulting industry trends mean for the future of mining consultancy”, Marco Maestry notes.
Mr. Maestry makes the following conclusions:
1. Digital technology will change the face of the mines of the future and therefore change the consultancies of the future.
2. The freelance ‘Gig Economy’ will mean fewer full time employees and a larger pool of associates. This will help the consultancy market become more efficient and soak up some of the damaging boom and bust disruption in personnel.
3. The business model of the future consultancy will therefore need to change from large pyramid to smaller network style businesses, with a focus shifting from utilisation to retained clients and long-term sustainable profit.
4. Consultancies are no longer the secretive societies they once used to be. A more informed client and digitally savvy world should lead to increased transparency and closer collaboration.
“Survival of the most adaptable may seem conveniently Darwinian and sensational, but history is littered with companies and even industries that were slow to react to changes in their operating environment”, – MR. Maestry concludes.by