Professional Services history continued… An earlier wave of growth in the early 1980s was driven by demand for strategy and organization consultancies while the growth in the 1990s was driven by strategy and information technology advice.  

In the second half of the 1980s the big accounting firms entered the IT consulting segment. The then Big Eight accounting firms, now Big Four, had always offered advice in addition to their traditional services, but from the late 1980s onwards these activities became increasingly important in relation to the maturing market of accounting and auditing.

By the mid-1990s these firms shifted focus to corporate strategy and organization. While three of the Big Four legally divided the different service lines after the Enron scandals and the ensuing breakdown of Arthur Andersen, they are now back in the consulting business.

More tomorrow…