How to Point Out a Consulting Outfit Is Often Full of Beans

July 19, 2022

I read a write up in the UK online publication The Register. The article was “IT Departments Often Regret Technology Buying Decisions.” I immediately thought about Google’s mantra that organizations did not need information technology departments. I think the reasoning behind the statement was, “Let Google do it because we are smarter and have scaling, analytics, smart software, etc., etc.” I first heard this mantra in the 2002, maybe 2003 period. I wondered if the article was just recycling Google-type fluff-a-roo?

Yes because I have heard this before. Nope because the mid tier consulting firm is probably unaware of the world before checking TikTok in the last 10 minutes.

The write up pivots on a mid tier consulting firm which has “reinvented” the Google-type mantra with a bit of the rap music beat.

I learned:

Fifty-six percent of organizations said they had a high degree of regret over their largest tech-related purchase in the last two years, according to a new survey of 1,120 executives in North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific.

Ok, almost 60 percent are faced with a persistent problem. This is not technical debt; this is here-and-now craziness.

I found this passage a slightly nicer way of saying what the Google-type mantra arrogantly implied:

… For anyone left picking up the technical pieces, 67 percent of people involved in technology-buying decisions are not in IT, which means that anyone could be a tech buyer for their organization. This is the so-called lines of business phenomenon where someone in marketing, for example, uses the corporate credit card to buy a product or service that IT admins then have to help manage.

Who is best qualified to make technology decisions for an organization? The answer is obvious:

  1. MBAs who can use Excel
  2. Accountants who can use a pencil and paper
  3. Lawyers who can use Word and maybe a time reporting system
  4. Marketing professionals who can use gym equipment, acrylic paints, and art museum audio tour gear.

The outfit creating this report is a mid-tier consulting firm.

Now here’s the way to put the obvious into a for fee report:

Whether anyone has experienced buyer’s remorse after shelling out thousands of dollars for a Gartner report is a question upon which The Register cannot comment.

Bingo. Very obvious report. An expensive mid tier report which could have been summarized by talking to a Googler more than a decade or more ago. And the remarkable inability of experts to perceive that their expertise is a reflection of the present technology environment. Score: Mid tier zero. Register one.

Stephen E Arnold, July 19, 2022


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