Why independent consultancy matters?

The world is biased. You can find many examples of it everywhere around you. I really like the story about the doctor:

I felt sick and went to the doctor. The doctor prescribed me specific pills that would help me get better. And it’s completely fine, unless I mentioned that this doctor has a pen, notepad and calendar branded by the same pills he prescribed me to take. I’ve never taken this pills.

This is a true story happening everywhere in my home country. The problem is this kind of things happens everywhere, including the IT sector.

narrow mind

Imagine that you are the enterprise company CTO and you want to implement a good new technology to increase the revenue of your company. This is affordable as new technologies in most of the cases bring new opportunities for the business – deeper insights, better targeting, improved time-to-action, etc.

But when the enterprise is to implement this technology, it faces a big problem: lack of the expertise. And this is the time it faces the bias. This is the list of choices this enterprise has:

  1. Go to the trusted vendor. All the vendors on the market have their own consultancy, some of them are big, some of them are small. But you should ask yourself – are you sure that they won’t be biased in pushing their own technologies even in the places they don’t play well? They will, especially if it is the vendor leading the market.
  2. Go to the trusted outsourcer. And here the story repeats. Big outsourcers do not afraid to form “alliances” and publicly announce them. If you come to one of these companies, for sure you would be advised to utilize the technology of this alliance partner. When we talk about small outsourcer companies, they are usually smarter in their play – they just come to vendors and say: “We’ve got customer X and he is interested in your solution. We can recommend you if you would recommend us as an outsourcer for another customer”. Of course, all of this is just a verbal agreement, but it is the way small companies survive on the market.
  3. Go to the independent consultancy. Independent consultancy companies are getting more popular over the time because they tend to be less biased in choosing the solution. The problem here is the marketing. As this kind of companies does not implement the solution themselves, consultants working there are usually biased because of the vendors marketing. Without an option to implement the solution themselves, they have to buy the public stories of the implementations, which are biased because of the marketing – the bigger the vendor, the more marketing it puts in media, the more biased independent consultancy become towards this vendor.
  4. Find a subject matter expert. And this is not an easy task – technology gurus tend not to work for big enterprises, for them it is like selling their soul, and most likely they would reject all the attempts of the enterprise to acquire this specialist. Unless the enterprise has a good reputation like Google.
  5. Grow your own expertise. This requires much effort and what is the most important – it takes much time. But eventually it is the path any company should follow, combining this with one of the approaches described before. Because the company running solution X without any internal expertise in solution X is doomed to spend tons of money in vain – without the expertise they won’t even be able to estimate the accuracy of outsourcer’s pricing.

Considering all the above, it fills like a clinch situation for enterprises. Wherever they go, they have a good chance of buying the technology they don’t need and implementing the solution that won’t help their business.

In my opinion this is the main case why independent consultancy matters. And I’m not talking about the independent consultancy companies. I’m mostly considering the individuals driving the technology adoption, subject matter experts. They are usually working in startup companies, and being open-minded to face new challenges they can give you a good advice on the general direction of a new technology adoption in your enterprise, sometimes even for free because they like the technology and its challenges.

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