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EY and BCG Go All-In On AI: What It Means for the Future of Consulting

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Two big AI announcements from top consulting firms give us a sneak peek into how AI is going to disrupt professional services.

First, EY announced the launch of EY.ai, a platform to help clients boost their AI adoption. The company invested $1.4 billion into the platform, says VentureBeat.

This effort includes embedding AI into proprietary EY technologies used by 60,000+ clients. EY also said it’s releasing its own secure large language model.

Second, AI company Anthropic announced a partnership with BCG. The partnership will bring Anthropic’s Claude model to enterprises.

Says Anthropic: “BCG customers around the world will get direct access to our AI assistant to power their strategic AI offerings and deploy safer, more reliable AI solutions.”

Why it matters:

The announcements indicate that leading professional services firms are going all-in on AI. And they show us the contours of what the AI-powered future of the industry could look like.

Connecting the dots:

In Episode 64 of the Marketing AI Show, Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer talked me through what’s going on here.

  1. This is a direct response to enterprise demand. “Every enterprise, they’re trying to solve for generative AI, specifically large language models, and they need help,” says Roetzer. They’re turning to the trusted advisors they know to help them figure it out, because there’s no one else to turn to at the moment.
  2. That’s because it’s not easy adopting AI at the enterprise level. Enterprises have a lot of implementation challenges including serious privacy and security concerns. These require expert guidance to navigate. Also, a large degree of change management is required to help companies deal with AI’s effect on business models, employment, and operations.
  3. It’s also a response to AI vendor demand. AI vendors are also turning to consulting firms, inking partnerships so they can get access to firms’ clients as AI competition in the enterprise heats up.
  4. This is going to happen with smaller professional services firms, too. Every company of every size will soon be trying to figure out AI. They’ll also look for trusted advisors to help them navigate AI. Smaller agencies and advisors should be leaning into this role as needs move down-market, says Roetzer.

What to do about it:

If you’re a company trying to figure out AI, turn to your agency, your advisory firm, your consultants for guidance. If they can’t give it, find a new relationship.

If you’re a professional services firm, act quickly to figure out how to become a trusted AI advisor in your space. If you don’t, someone else will.

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