Technology is at the heart of business and is often a key driver and enabler of change.
A company’s technology organization should support its business strategy, not constrain it. Smart vision focuses first on the strategic needs of our clients’ businesses to determine the technology capabilities needed to support their long-term goals. We help companies confidently address technology-related decisions and ensure their IT organizations and operating models are agile and effective, equipping them to cut through the noise of fleeting technology trends to create enduring results.
Our Team draw on this global experience to help solve companies’ most complex technology-related challenges, including how to build their businesses in a digital age. Our experts are especially adept at helping companies through major business transformations or re-inventions of their technology organizations to become more nimble and agile.
We bring a full range of experience and experts to each client engagement to help companies navigate their specific business situation. Our capabilities include strategic planning, digital and operating model challenges, business architecture development, big data analysis.
The (broader) market for IT consulting services consists of eight main disciplines: IT Strategy, IT Architecture, IT Implementation, ERP services, Systems Integration, Data Analytics, IT Security and Software Management.
IT Strategy. IT strategy focuses on strategic IT propositions and IT advisory, offerings which commonly represent the first phase of any IT undertaking. Engagements typically last between six weeks to six months depending on the complexity, with an average of two to three months. Examples of projects include defining a corporate IT strategy, setting up a business case for an ERP system or designing a cybersecurity vision – engagements that set the stage for further IT work.
IT Architecture. IT architecture looks at the IT processes and systems, and defines the technological blueprint that enables business processes. Projects typically last between six to 12 months and architecture services precede any IT implementation or systems integration efforts. Consulting offerings include, among others, defining an enterprise landscape, implementing a service-oriented architecture (SOA), or guiding the outsourcing of architecture processes to an external vendor.
ERP services. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) services are activities that support clients with designing, implementing and/or maintaining ERP systems and modules. Key propositions include ERP package selections, business process redesigns based on an ERP template, and implementations of, for instance, SAP or Oracle products.
Systems Integration. The systems integration domain looks at how different computing systems and software applications can link together in order to ensure systems acts as a coordinated whole. It often involves ensuring ERP systems/modules can interact with other, more tailored applications that run in the IT landscape.
Data Analytics. Data analytics, an upcoming domain, centres around techniques and tools that can turn large amounts of data into valuable information in order to support decision making. Typical propositions in this segment are business intelligence, workforce analytics, customer intelligence, data warehousing (big data) and predictive modeling.
IT Security. IT security focuses on risk, security and compliance responsibilities in the IT landscape, while the IT implementation line of business encompasses all services related to the design and implementation of technology-driven projects.
Software Management. Software management refers to the practice that involves managing and optimising the purchase, deployment, maintenance, utilisation, and disposal of software applications within an organisation.
Smart Vision for Business Consultancy ignites the digital dialogue, and use technology to transform the business of our clients. Our technology teams solve business problems through the design of technology strategies, development of technology architecture, delivery of enterprise applications, sourcing, project management and operational management. Our deep data and analytics experts enable our clients to both trust and use their data for competitive advantage. We deliver the technological solutions organisations need to compete and grow. We build a lasting legacy of improvement and performance, partnering with best in class technologies and solution sets.
Website audit. Most companies looking to hire an SEO/marketing consultant aren’t getting the results they’re hoping for with their website. This could be because they’re not ranking well, their offers aren’t structured properly, or any number of other problems. A very beneficial service you can offer is to perform a website audit. This is where you take a “look under the hood” to figure out what can be improved on their website to help them achieve their goals.
Common on-site optimization areas you’ll evaluate are:
- Content pages that should be added or modified to match the intent of their target buyers
- Basic SEO optimization criteria like proper H1 and H2 tags, metadata, and image tags
- Proper compliance factors like a site map, terms of service, privacy, and contact information
- Identifying broken links or improper linking structures
- Irrelevant, low-quality, and duplicate content
- Errors of any kind
- Basic functionality like load speed
- User experience like proper navigation
Market analysis. Combining the on-site evaluation and the market analysis is an easy combination to sell. It’s very rare for people not to buy both if they’re positioned correctly, because how can you properly understand how to optimize your client’s website if they don’t understand how much market share they own, who their competitors are, and how much market share they could gain? More important, how can you optimize your client’s site if they don’t understand the intention of the buyers in the market? There are three basic components I like to package together under the flag of “market analysis”: competitive analysis, market intent, and online presence.
When competitive analysis is done right, you don’t just learn about who the main competitors are. You learn why they’re outranking you and what you need to do to dominate them. It’s easy to find out who the top competitors are for your target keywords. Once you have that information, some of the valuable data you can glean is:
- What keywords are they paying for? If they’re ranked first for a keyword they’re paying for, they’re most likely making money with that keyword.
- What do their ads for that keyword look like?
- What do their landing pages look like?
- What are their offers?
- What pages on their website are optimized for that keyword? What message is being sent to the prospects?
- Are they active in social media? What are they doing? Are their followers engaged with them?
Next is market intent. You don’t want to rely only on traditional keyword research when you’re evaluating a market. You want to get inside the buyers’ heads and ask yourself what their pain points are. What solutions are they looking for? What do they care about? A few places to quickly scan to glean market intent are:
- Related searches at the bottom of the page on Google. Google doesn’t list anything on the first page by accident.
- Market-specific forums. What conversations are taking place? What questions are your prospects asking?
- Hashtag searches on social media sites.
Finally, consider online presence. The online presence is all about how prominent your client is online in his market across all areas that matter. Some of the things to look at are:
- Do they have a strong social media presence?
- Are they ranking well?
- Do they have a strong content marketing presence?
Ultimately, after getting all the relevant data, determine how prominent they’re in their market compared to their competitors so you can put a plan together to increase their branding, presence, and market share. There are several companies that offer a diagnostic button you can add right to your browser’s toolbar:
- Marketing Grader
Keyword research. You want to know the keywords buyers are typing into Google, but you also want to know the intention behind those searches and what questions they’re asking and why. You can charge double the normal keyword research fees just by including intention-based research with the standard keyword research.
The keyword research will dictate the type of content and optimization you do on your client’s website, but the conversions will be far higher if you combine those with the buyers’ intention. What’s even more important is to discover what Google thinks the buyer’s intent is. It’s Google’s opinion that determines who gets the traffic. Below are some useful tools to help you in your research:
- Google AdWords Tool
Content marketing. As a consultant, you can resell a variety of content marketing services. Popular services include:
- Blogging services
- Content distribution across authority sites like LinkedIn, Face-book, and guest blog posts
- Press releases
- Newsletters and fliers
Content marketing is currently the driving force behind high-quality SEO. Things change quickly when it comes to marketing online, but one thing that has always remained constant is this: Content is king!
Video services. Video marketing is a very popular service. People love to use videos on their websites and blogs, but they also love to have video marketing campaigns done for them. Businesses love the idea of having a YouTube channel full of videos that are distributed across the internet. But a lot of power can come from one well-made video.
People use a wide variety of videos online. There’s really a vast array of opportunity here. Some of the popular aspects of this service you’ll want to brush up on are:
- YouTube optimization and marketing strategies
- Vimeo strategies
- Simple video creation tools like Animoto
- Whiteboard videos
One thing people tend to really love about videos is their ability to go viral so quickly. When someone sees a video they like, they share it on Facebook or on their blog, and the next thing you know that video is being passed around all over the internet. A viral video is a dream for any business or brand. Here are some resources to help you create and post online videos:
- Animated Whiteboard
Independent marketing consultations. If you’re really good at marketing online, people will pay a premium price to have strategy days or one-on-one consultations with you to help map out the direction their business should be heading. This is a more advanced service because you have to develop the right skill set and a portfolio of success before you’ll have much luck selling yourself as qualified to consult for their business. However, it’s good to keep in mind for the future, because it’s really great to be paid a premium for your brain instead of the services you provide.
IT M&A. IT is crucial to successful merger integration and supports many important integration activities. However it is often identified as a root cause of failed M&A and divestiture efforts due to poor IT platform and organization integration, inefficient due diligence and failure of IT to enable business synergies. These same areas, however, are also key targets for significant profit opportunities.
Smart vision IT merger integration experts work with our experienced mergers and acquisitions consultants to help companies focus on the value that technology brings to a deal.
Smart vision focuses its support on key areas of IT merger integration, including application, portfolio, infrastructure, IT organization, projects and suppliers. We partner with clients to address key technology-related M&A challenges:
- Planning post-merger integration: Integration plans need to be uniquely tailored to the nature of each deal and needs to begin early in the process. We work with clients to assess existing IT environments and capabilities, and then identify the opportunities and threats of changes in business structure through our due diligence process.
- Developing IT integration approaches: We work together to develop a tailored strategic IT roadmap and migration plan and to guide the IT decisions and actions required to realize the deal’s maximum value and nothing less.
- Accelerate integration: We help clients develop an IT integration approach that is closely linked with the business integration plan. With our trademark rigor and objectivity, we estimate category-specific synergies and required investments in advance of action, so that leaders can make necessary trade-offs based on data rather than intuition.
Divestitures and separations
When successful companies think about how to manage their portfolios, they think not only about which businesses to grow, but also which to shed. Divestitures require careful orchestration to reorganize and maximize the value of a business’s IT platforms and people. Sometimes, divesting non-core assets allows management to focus its attention on the core business—including its IT strategy.
Digital Marketing Consulting
Persona Development. Personas are developed by our digital marketing consultants to represent typical customer archetypes who are “brought to life” for marketing strategy development. These fictional representations provide a mental model of various customer groups: who they are, what motivates them and causes them to engage – or not engage with – your brand.
Persona development is rooted in customer segmentation and a variety of market research methods can be used in creating personas, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, ethnographic research and website analytics. Quantitative research (via online surveys) can also be used to validate hypotheses and confirm the segments.