How Should IT Consulting Firms Rethink Themselves?
The world is changing, but what about consulting companies? They have to think about their past to understand their future.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
A Dated Legacy
IT consulting is a form of historical of strategic consulting based on its model. In strategic consulting, you have a very high operational requirement, both in terms of content and form, because your interlocutors are CEOs who pay a very high price for very structured advice for the company's future. So you have a certain cult of performance in these companies, with the corollaries that come with it. In this kind of context, nothing must be criticizable, and the best way not to be is either to be perfect, or to have a strong intuition. In other words, strong personalities stifle the silent majority, whether intentionally or unconscious. You can say goodbye to creativity, to audacity, and even to courage. Conservative opinions will be those that are validated, and the credo, "We build you the solutions that are adapted to you" evaporates.
In the end, you have an internal organization very close to and inspired by military organizations, and you realize that the creative visionary has no place.
Of course, this vision is to be softened when we talk about IT consulting, but as it inherits the more historical consulting, the point remains.
An Unsuitable Legacy
The problem is that more and more people understand that collective intelligence is needed to solve increasingly complex problems. And this is certainly not going to happen in an atmosphere that restricts creative individuals.
But there is also another aspect that must evolve. The training of IT consultants is generally the same, and contains only a few people with research backgrounds. In practice, you will find no former researchers, and no one or almost no one from human sciences. And yet multi-disciplinarity and the so-called hard sciences are two great waves that many people predict.
What's the Future?
IT consulting firms must open up even more to the outside world, either through new profiles or by working more and more closely with other companies and sectors. They must also review their managerial model. From an army, it must transform itself into a rugby team, where everyone has their place, from the smallest to the largest. The notion of a hierarchy must, therefore, be transformed into a notion of competencies. Finally, they must help their consultants to develop and emancipate themselves, so that they can have the richest and most informed exchanges. The world doesn't look any easier tomorrow than it did yesterday. Consulting firms must lead the way.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.