Consulting or Insulting?

Yesterday I had another real-world-contact with IT and/or business consultants. There were two different kinds attending my presentations at our ISIS Papyrus roadshow – one ignorant and arrogant, the other experienced and open. Excuse my bluntness, but if you feel insulted by my musings, assume that you belong to the second. The chuzpe of that breed is sometimes astonishing. Both were sitting in on our presentations and bluntly clicking away with their cameras and phones at our presentations. Yes, copying is the sincerest form of flattery, but most likely they will sell this as THEIR knowledge to their prospects without giving us credit. The ignorant kind arrived late and missed much of our well timed and sequenced presentations and would then continuously interrupt with questions that had already been answered. Then he would interrupt a problem situation presented and say that this was easy to solve by whatever without waiting to hear our proposed solution to the problem.

Obviously, both were heavily opposed to my stance that rigid process management is hurting businesses. We came to the polite agreement to disagree. I understand, as it is their business to sell consulting for process management and I am interfering with that. The fun part was a prospect who took part in discussions over lunch. When the I&A consultant said that it was quick and easy to take existing XML parsing tools to map XML data into a program (which clearly shows that he has never tried it) the attending prospect said: ‘The words QUICK and EASY should be forbidden in IT and you apparently do not know that there is no such thing when it comes to XML!’

Bingo! That made me very happy. Guys (and ladies!), you need to stand up and speak out. Do not be intimidated by the title consultant. FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt are their favorite weapons. Also Gartner Group did it once again. I received their mailing for an SOA event and the headline was: ‘SOA is happening with or without you, Mr. Pucher.’ That is one of the worst and insulting marketing slogans I can imagine and Gartner Group should be beyond that. It insults my intelligence. SOA is only happening because so many advertizing millions are spent on it. Eventually SOA will become just one more tool in our IT toolbox and it will never be the magic bullet to solve all our problems.

Burton Group proposed that it will take 10 to 15 years to complete SOA in a large organization, so in my mind we can just as well ignore it. If I were you I would not spend a dime to convert my programs to SOA. I would use a product that does not put this requirement on me. I suggest to save the time, money and effort to do something for your USERS!

Finally the same attending prospect told me that he saw server virtualization as a huge problem. He said that because of it, old and outdated system, database and application programs are no longer consolidated but just virtualized and therefore continue to bog down IT with the effort to support outdated systems. Great thought!

I wish I would meet more such IT people and less of these consultants. I think their ignorance and arrogance is insulting and hurting IT and businesses in general.

3 Comments on “Consulting or Insulting?

  1. Max what a refreshing article. I am amazed just how many “consultants” in the IT world who proport to offer advice are rarely if ever able to support the notions they propose.

    I have always tried to live by the formula of truth in sales and maybe this is one reason why I have many clients who have been clients for more than 10 years.

    Paul Buchtmann

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  2. Paul, thanks. Fortunately I do meet also consultants who deserve the title and have experience to share. Otherwise it would be extremely frustrating in IT.

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  3. Great article Max! Hopefully the insultant-consultant was seen for what he was and therefore was exposed as his own worst enemy. One can only imagine the arrogance that he displays with own clients – and even more so makes one wonder how many he could have gotten as clients but didn’t because they saw through him.

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