Deloitte’s Legal Business Services: A bridge for value creation

TBR perspective

For decades, the legal services market has been perceived as a lawyers-only type of club with a high barrier to entry, with admission requiring many years of school, tremendous amounts of debt and passing of a bar exam. While lawyers remain at the forefront of providing legal advice, law services, like most industries, have not been spared by the advent of disruptive technologies, which have enabled a new set of contenders to enter the space of alternative legal services. Technology-enabled legal services providers such as LegalZoom and Divorceify have begun to carve a niche in the business-to-customer space over the past several years; the Big Four firms are now trying to open the door even wider in the business-to-business world, with Deloitte, in particular, looking at the big picture and trying to establish a beachhead in what could be become the next frontier for technology-enabled managed services.

Deloitte’s launch of its Legal Business Services in the U.S. in July comes as the firm has been making unorthodox investments steadily for the past several years, with technology, in TBR’s view, at the center of diversifying its portfolio offerings and increasing client stickiness. Deloitte’s core consulting value proposition, which relies on the firm’s trust across the C-Suite buyer, will again be tested as enterprise buyers seek optimization of the last piece of the back office, the legal department. Utilizing management consulting and advisory services at the front end, enabled by the company’s Chief Legal Office program, Deloitte’s specialized expertise targets chief compliance, chief legal officers, and heads of legal operations who are grappling with everyday challenges including cost savings and customer experience.

As Deloitte evolves its brand to become a solutions partner, the firm’s investments in Legal Business Services not only add another tool in the consultant’s tool box but also could help the firm build a backup bridge to maintain access and relationships with clients seeking compliance advice. These steps taken now to expand business could be strategically critical to the overall firm in the future.      

In a recent discussion with Deloitte Discovery practice and Legal Business Services practice Lead Bryan Foster and Deloitte Tax LLP’s Legal Business Services Principal Mark Ross, Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR) gained deeper insights into the firm’s recently launched Legal Business Services practice in the U.S., which TBR believes could help Deloitte increase client stickiness and capture technology-enabled managed services opportunities.

Deloitte’s willingness to go into unorthodox markets supports growth

“Broad-based investments including low-cost resources and platform-based solutions are among the recent examples of Deloitte’s efforts to expand its addressable market, resulting in improving non-management consulting revenue performance,” says Senior Analyst Boz Hristov.

“While Deloitte is far from reaching revenue diversification compared to the likes of Accenture, the firm is making inroads in unorthodox markets such as outsourcing services. To succeed, though, Deloitte will need to showcase pricing flexibility as it deploys new ways of engaging with clients.”

In his recent assessment of Deloitte’s management consulting practice, Boz noted that augmenting legacy services through investments in legal services, as well as technology partnerships with the likes of Google and ServiceNow, will play a critical role in building and solidifying trust with new and existing buyers, especially as the majority of them fall within the Extension stage of Deloitte’s digital transformation initiatives. Teaming consulting and analytics experts with solutions architects as a core go-to-market strategy will likely not differentiate Deloitte much from rivals. However, the firm’s dedicated investments in regions such as Germany, where consulting sales revenue share surpassed that of legacy audit services, will help build the globally integrated, diversified portfolio Deloitte needs to protect its No. 1 position among TBR’s benchmarked vendors.    

Additional assessments publishing this week from our analyst teams

In 1Q19 VMware experienced another healthy quarter of revenue growth, which increased 12.8% to $2.3 billion. Late 2018 acquisitions helped buoy revenue, as did double-digit cloud management bookings and the reported success of CloudHealth in the quarter. — Cassandra Mooshian, Senior Analyst

In its 1Q19 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Cloud report, TBR discusses the company’s modest 2.8% cloud revenue growth, to an estimated $1.9 billion, and how that underscores Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) focus on and commitment to cloud-based hybrid and emerging technologies. HPE GreenLake continues to play a crucial role in HPE’s success, as GreenLake orders grew a reported 39% year-to-year in 1Q19. — Cassandra Mooshian

TBR’s Dell Technologies report deep dives into the performance and strategies of the vendor’s Client Solutions and Infrastructure Solutions groups, while painting the picture of Dell Technologies’ bigger overall strategy. Deeper analysis of some of the announcements that emerged from Dell Technologies World will also be highlighted as well as the ongoing strategic positioning of VMware. — Stephanie Long, Analyst

And sign up now for TBR’s next webinar, Where will hyperconverged infrastructure fit in the modern data center?

Can management consulting survive digital transformation?

Join Patrick M. Heffernan, principal analyst, and TBR’s Professional Services senior analysts as they discuss the management consulting competitive landscape, highlighting specific vendors’ performances while diving deep on three specific themes: asset-based consulting, convergence of strategy and technology, and maturing digital transformation/innovation centers. The team will examine leading vendors, such as Deloitte, McKinsey, PwC, EY, Accenture, Capgemini and IBM, and discuss how these firms have adjusted to consulting in an era of digital transformation.

Don’t miss:

  • How consultancies bolt IP and emerging technology assets onto traditional consulting engagements
  • Expected impacts from the blending of technology and strategy consulting engagements and vendors’ practices
  • Which consultancies led the pack in TBR’s Management Consulting Benchmark
  • The next evolution of digital transformation and co-innovation centers


TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

Digital transformation advances analytics and insights

Realizing the dream of AI-embedded business processes must start with people and data management

Realizing the dream of AI-embedded business processes must start with people and data management

Every enterprise looks to use emerging technologies to cut costs, grow revenue or create new business models. The combination of changes in how people work and what new technologies can best be applied creates massive opportunities for services vendors. This new market — broadly defined as “digital transformation” (DT) — will evolve through the current hype peak into a long, steady stream of fundamentally traditional services engagements involving a mixture of process knowledge and technical expertise. Though no longer “emerging” technologies, data management and analytics software remain at the core of DT initiatives and adoption of truly emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). As the analytics and insights (A&I) professional services market matures, competencies around AI, human-centric user experience design and DT-related change management will be key to vendors’ future growth.

To sustain A&I professional services opportunities over the long term, vendors must stay on top of AI technology developments while maintaining a broader perspective on the impact of AI on clients’ business processes and human resource (HR) strategies. As AI adoption grows, so does the technology’s complexity, particularly at the intersection points between humans and machines and between regulatory policy and technological innovation. We expect rising concerns around security and governance, regulatory compliance, and HR implications of AI systems will continue to drive consulting and solution design engagements tied to broader DT initiatives. To capture these expected opportunities, A&I services vendors invest in service and technology offerings to assist clients with AI adoption — from upfront advisory to data integration, application development and managed services. However, despite vendors’ massive investments in AI capabilities and a growing number of high-profile use cases for the technology, TBR’s research around enterprise DT initiatives indicates clients have not fully bought into the value services vendors can provide in creating AI solutions, suggesting vendors have a marketing challenge to overcome.

The model for a successful vendor is indeed a tall order. Our research indicates enterprises undergoing DT want vendors to understand their business problems in both industry and functional contexts, create solutions that mesh with their existing IT environments and maintain security, and cultivate robust ecosystems of best-of-breed technology partners. While building out strategies around each of these pillars, vendors should message how they can address technical challenges such as data preparation and training to help clients start and continue experimenting with AI, as well as provide process transformation and change management advice to enable clients to bring those experiments to scale. Vendors must walk a fine line between establishing a long-term vision for the future of business and directing clients where to take the first step toward achieving their goals. Framing AI adoption in the context of methodical modernization of individual business functions, rather than as an excuse to play with cool new technology, will keep vendors on the right side of that line.

TBR will continue to monitor the impact of AI on vendors’ go-to-market strategies and enterprise customers’ IT and professional services buying behavior through its Analytics & Insights Professional Services Vendor Benchmark, Digital Transformation Services Market Landscape and Digital Transformation Customer Research. For deeper insight on this topic, see our event perspective on the 2018 O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference, held this past April in NYC.

For more information, contact Senior Analyst Jennifer Hamel ([email protected]).