However, consulting firms are not only external actors, but to the same extent participants in the digitalisation of the workplace.Firms are themselves digitising, in order to improve their offerings, amid a now-thriving independent consulting scene, giving rise to online disruption and increased competition in their own industry, as well as in the trades of their clients.

Against a backdrop of Demonstrating the increasingly hefty value of digital and technological services, the second most important service line for fee income in the UK was operations, with 11%, followed by finance at 10%.

The strategy and project management service lines both saw their share contract, at 2% and 4% respectively, while human capital was the strongest grower, booking a 2% increase in share of UK consultancy income.

Aggregate fee income by service line displayed a large disparity between different activities meanwhile.

Predictably, perhaps, amid an age of digital disruption that has seen digital transformation consulting become an industry worth $23 billion globally, digital and technology related provisions took 28% of the share, making it the largest segment of fee income, while sales, marketing and communication services brought in just 1%.

The consulting industry of the UK saw growth of 4.76% growth in fee-income over 2016, according to the ‘Annual Industry Report 2017’ of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA).

The MCA is the representative body for management consulting firms in the UK, which currently includes around 60 consultancies.* (three of the globe's four largest consulting firms), generated a collective £4.46 billion last year.

Across the board, consulting firms saw varying growth rates.

Large firms saw their consulting revenue grow by a slower 4%, while medium-sized firms grew by an average of 6% – in part due to their ability to outmaneuver larger firms.

The body estimates that its members account for around 50% of total fee income of the UK consulting industry.