Big4 IT Consultants and the road ahead

Demand for Big 4 IT Consultants:

“A Big 4 Accounting Firm is Looking for IT Auditors”, “Big4 Experience in IT Auditing, SOX 404, Business Process Controls, Internal Controls” “Big4 ERP Consultant with Big 4 Experience”, “Big4 Strong Experience in the Market SAP”, “Big 4 firm seeks top level consultants from Oracle, JD Edwards or PeopleSoft Management/Business”…the list of requirements for Big4 IT consultants is limitless!

Big4 IT Saga:

In addition to being outstanding performers, Big Four firms and their clients have the ability to succeed during uncertain periods. According to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, IT and software companies consistently lead the Fast 500 list. The latest PricewaterhouseCoopers Trendsetter Barometer survey strengthens Deloitte’s reporting. The survey observes that the fastest growing companies in the US allocate more than 60% of the budget to Information Technology.

What drives the Big 4 IT companies?

IT is an ethereal market that demands business and technology improvements at the drop of a hat. Risk management and change management are important tasks for IT professionals in Big4 companies. Today, there are three important requirements that drive the Big 4 IT companies. Is it so-

innovative management

dynamic staff and

Efficient team dynamics.

Organizational performance in the Big 4 IT companies is driven by the fact that audits, controls, business planning, and information systems development are handled exceptionally. Big4 IT companies typically choose professionals for information systems audits, disaster recovery, systems development, and information security. Big4, a website catering to Big4 alumni, receives regular updates on the latest news and trends in the Big Four IT companies. The training budget per IT employee at Ernst & Young was $2,100 for the year 2003.

Big4 and ERP:

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a big bet for Big 4 IT professionals. The Big 4 IT software job market is dominated by ERP technologies from Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft, Siebel and Great Plains. Salesforce.com, the leader in Hosted CRM services, competes with all the major providers of “Install and Customize” ERP technologies. With a list of 300,000 subscribers, Salesforce.com expects to make a profit of $300 million in 2006.

Following Oracle-Siebel Union, enterprise software technology giant SAP also plans to offer hosted CRM services. Breaking out of its conventional enterprise software technology market, SAP is competing against industry bigwigs like BEA, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Siebel for top honors in hosted CRM services.

The big 4 companies rely on e-commerce and security:

E-commerce and security are playing a significant role in driving the success rate of the Big Four companies. In June 2005, Sapient Corp. acquired BIS (Business Information Solutions), a SAP-related services company. With this acquisition, the demand for Business Intelligence and Value Optimization Services increased tremendously.

Another Big4 stalwart, PricewaterhouseCoopers, helps clients by offering IT performance and cost optimization services. PwC enables organizations to focus on IT business risk, IT spend, IT governance, IT risk management and compliance.

In the field of information security, compliance is a precursor. Business Process Controls, Internal Controls, SOX 404 are potential players to improve the business performance of the Big Four IT companies. According to a report by Deloitte Research, a security breach in a shipping container can cost as much as $1 trillion. Businesses around the world lose $12.5 billion due to hacking and spamming. In addition, the report also suggests that global companies consider business interruption, poor regulatory compliance, erratic increases in interest rates and terrorist activities as factors that affect security.

Performance of Service Companies and companies related to Products:

In fact, service companies perform better and earn higher revenues than product-related companies. Analysis from the PricewaterhouseCoopers Trendsetter survey complements the performance of the IT services industry. According to the survey, 62% of e-commerce budgets are dedicated to information technology. Service companies allocate 57% of e-commerce budget to IT staff, while their counterparts, product sector companies, allocate 44% to IT staff.

Big4 Firms and IT Compliance: The Road Ahead:

Sarbanes Oxley and IT compliance measures have had a positive effect on the overall health of the Big Four companies. With IT auditors and financial auditors standing guard and optimizing security measures at Big Four companies, does that mean Big Four IT professionals with the desired attributes are a piece of cake? Bet!

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