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The current state of the healthcare consulting market

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The current state of the healthcare consulting market

A recent report from Exactitude Consultancy revealed the global healthcare consulting market to be experiencing steady growth, with an expected value of $62.42 billion (£50.48 billion) by the end of 2029, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 per cent.

Europe is the second largest market globally for healthcare consulting services, only behind North America. Among the biggest hives of activity in the continent are the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

The global market for healthcare consulting services is saturated and competitive, with notable players including the likes of Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey, PwC, EY, Huron, Bain and Boston, among many others. Earlier in 2023, Accenture was recognised as the leading firm in the Healthcare Provider Digital Services PEAK Matrix Assessment 2023 report from industry analyst Everest Group.

The support and implementation services provided to healthcare businesses, to boost their financial and operational success, are known collectively as healthcare consulting. Due to many factors, including rising demand for value-based care and a need to strengthen outcomes whilst lowering prices, the market growth is anticipated to continue for the foreseeable future.

The rise of healthcare ERP consulting

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), in particular, is also showing significant signs of progress. Valued at $3.9 billion (£3.1 billion) in 2021, the healthcare ERP consulting services market is forecast to reach $6.3 billion (£5.1 billion) in 2026, at a CAGR of 10 per cent, according to the Healthcare ERP Consulting Services Global Market Report 2023.

Primarily, consulting in this sector is comprised of training and education, implementation of systems and functionality, with firms largely servicing businesses in life sciences or healthcare, both on-site and remotely, via cloud components.

One of the main drivers behind the increase in healthcare ERP consulting is the integration of ERP systems, which is expected to sustain future growth in the market. This includes software and systems designed to plan and manage the supply chain, manufacturing, services, finance and other functions of an organisation.

Competition in the healthcare consulting market

Of course, the role consulting firms play in healthcare can’t be understated. Professionals support industry leaders to develop the best strategies and execute them effectively, with overall aims in line with lowering costs and achieving maximum value.

Speaking on the digitalisation of the healthcare industry, Simon Bricknell, director of healthcare and operations at Develop Consulting, said: “Internally, we are developing our technology support offerings so that our interaction with the client relies less on us being with them in person to allow them to continue the journey without us being there.”

Whilst businesses across the globe are indeed growing more tech-savvy, the healthcare consulting market is a crowded one. Technology is being rapidly adopted to support industry expansion and organisations are seeking a competitive edge through agile approaches. Moreover, recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are helping healthcare providers in areas such as data privacy and resource management. 

To gain a competitive edge, key players in the market, like Accenture and Bain, are developing new initiatives, a wider range of services and a stronger focus on planning. This covers many aspects, including partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and alliances, to ultimately strengthen their leading positions.

According to a comprehensive report by Market Research Future, consulting firms operating within the healthcare industry have significantly bolstered their R&D spending in response to these market circumstances. 

This has facilitated solutions that are specifically tailored to clients’ needs and, consequently, the market expansion across the projected period (2021 to 2029) will be supported by new services and applications.

Combined with the ever-increasing need for new and improved digital healthcare solutions, the consulting market is set to continue developing throughout the upcoming years.

Europe, in particular, is seeing significant expansion. Although it remains the second-largest market globally, with the proliferation of healthcare and life science enterprises, the number of pharmaceutical trials and the development of medical technologies, the need for healthcare consulting is growing.

The German market saw the highest growth rate in Europe, although the UK still retains the largest share overall.

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