Saturday, May 17, 2008

Time to regulate the Research and Consulting industry?

That Mckinsey was advising Enron is old story now. Robert Cringely has written a must-read column about the utility of technology advisory firms such as Gartner, IDC, Forrester, among other firms, noting that Tech Advice market is worth $2 billion now.

First Robert writes about Gartner, quoting from Gartner’s website:

"Gartner offers the combined brainpower of 1,200 research analysts and consultants who advise executives in 75 countries every day. We publish tens of thousands of pages of original research annually and answer 200,000 client questions every year. We can help you make smarter and faster decisions. Our years of relevant experience and institutional knowledge prevent costly and avoidable errors. Be confident that with Gartner, your decisions are the right decisions."

One might ask:
So Gartner and, by association, Gartner's competitors help customers make better IT decisions. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. But why do governments and big companies NEED help making IT decisions? Don't most companies hire IT professionals to make those decisions in the first place?

Now, much has been written about the consultants, and much of it is unflattering, often bordering on the comic but the fact remains that the IT industry, as Robert says, “lacks professionalism”.

If you care to click on the link and read the comments, you might learn more about the state of the Consulting and Advice industry.

For example, a reader alleges that Gartner does not test the IT products it writes reviews about, often relying on the documents vendors provide.

There is more: the reader alleges that Gartner does not review products from Vendors that have not paid the ‘fee’.

ROCA, anyone?
Regulator of Consultants and Advisors.

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