US businesses turning to consulting firms amid cybersecurity fears

05 February 2019 Consulting.us

Effectively dealing with the complex, technical world of cybersecurity is beyond the capabilities of many organizations. To insulate themselves from the increasing threats borne of digitalization, many turn to outside parties – namely consulting firms. 

With the rise of digitization comes an increased risk of cyberattacks, which in turn raises cybersecurity to the top of many American companies’ to-do lists. As such, more and more are turning to consulting firms to help them prepare for, repel, or avoid external attacks - or those brought about by the use of unauthorized outside technology brought in by employees.

“Enterprises are increasingly looking to service providers to help them address the talent shortage by providing training and outside skilled labor,” Esteban Herrera, partner and global leader of ISG Research, said. 

US businesses turning to consulting firms amid cybersecurity fears

Additionally, it is often difficult for IT executives to prove the value of security investments to management. Recent trends show a shift toward cloud-based and “as-a-service” security options. Artificial intelligence and automation are also quickly becoming the go-to choices for companies, as they can detect attacks in real time by utilizing defense mechanisms such as deception technology. A recent study shows the C-suite is key here, as its support is absolutely necessary for automation programs to be successfully scaled and deployed throughout a company. 

“Automated incident response has become the new normal in security operation centers,” Herrera said. 

 The interest in cybersecurity consultancy is an international phenomenon. Saudi Arabia in June entered into an agreement with Booz Allen Hamilton, which will see the American consulting firm train Saudi cybersecurity experts. In a report that analyzed 158 UK-based cybersecurity start-ups, consulting firm Wavestone found that demand for cybersecurity services rose steeply in 2018. In November, the Bank of England held a “war games”-type event with more than 40 major financial firms to help prepare for potential future cyberattacks. 

Further, global consultancy firm Accenture recently launched a cybersecurity hub in Edinburgh, Scotland. Accenture is the sixth-largest cybersecurity consultancy firm in the world

ISG is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. It has more than 700 clients, including 75 of the top 100 enterprises in the world. It specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud, and data analytics.  

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Numerous consulting firms receive top marks for corporate equality

04 April 2019 Consulting.us

A large number of consulting firms received perfect 100-point scores in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 Corporate Equality Index, which measures the best workplaces for LGBTQ equality.

The Corporate Equality Index (CEI) is a benchmarking survey that evaluates LGBTQ corporate policies and practices including non-discrimination protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. Launched in 2002, the benchmarking report has grown from 319 to 1028 participating companies (with 500 or more employees).

Participating firms fill out the CEI survey, with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation investigating and cross-checking policies and practices and deducting points if case law or news accounts uncover discrimination at a firm. The HRC is America’s largest civil rights organization working for LGBTQ equality.

Companies are scored across the categories of workforce protection (30 points), inclusive benefits (30 points), and supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility (40 points), with 10 points for internal training and education best practices, 10 points for an LGBTQ employee group or diversity council, 15 points for three distinct efforts of outreach or engagement with the LGBTQ community, and 5 points for supplier non-discrimination standards and philanthropic giving guidelines.

Numerous consulting firms receive top marks for corporate equality

Among the companies that achieved a 100-point score were a plethora of consultancies, including A.T. Kearney, Accenture, AlixPartners, Aon, Bain & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Consulting Group, Capgemini America, CBRE, Deloitte, EY, Korn Ferry, KPMG, Marsh & McLennan Companies, McKinsey & Company, Navigant Consulting, PwC, Publicis Sapient, Robert Half, RSM US, Willis Towers Watson, and ZS.

We are delighted once again to be recognized as a best place to work for LGBTQ+ equality. This designation represents our commitment to our people, enables us to continue to attract the best talent, and in turn makes us a better partner for our clients," Simon Freakley, AlixPartners CEO, said. 

Bain & Company earned a perfect score for the 13th year in a row. "Diversity is key to our mission of building extraordinary teams that deliver unparalleled results for our firm and our clients, and we remain committed to attracting and developing a team that both represents and fully embraces this diversity," Russ Hagey, the firm's chief talent officer, said.

Bain has rapidly expanded its LGBTQ alliance network BGLAD, with global membership growing by more than 36% last year.

“We are strong advocates for the LGBTQ community and we’re happy our policies and benefits package reflect the needs of our diverse firm," Brian Bloom, vice president of Korn Ferry's global benefits, said

Consulting firm ZS participated in the CEI survey for the first time, also earning a 100-point score. The firm attributed its strong showing, in part, to its Pride@ZS network which promotes diversity and inclusion though education, social events, and community outreach.

"What I'm most proud of is that this award reflects the way we've been doing business and treating people for years," Natalie Hanson, ZS principal and Pride@ZS leader, said. "Achieving 100% did not require us to make any substantive changes to our policies or practices."

Once a homogeneous “old boys club,” management consultancies have been hard at work in recent years to become more diverse and inclusive organizations. Outside of any moral or regulatory imperative, diversity initiatives allow the firms to attract and retain the widest and best pool of talent, while reaping the productivity and effectiveness bonuses that diverse teams bring to the corporate table.

"The top-scoring companies on this year's CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their global operations and impacting millions of people beyond our shores," Chad Griffin, HRC president, said. "Time and again, leading American businesses have shown that protecting their employees and customers from discrimination isn't just the right thing to do – it's also good for business."