A recent posting on ZDNet warns that organizations risk wasting vast sums of money on external consultants in scenarios where management is lax. Wastage also comes when consultants are used in scenarios where the job at hand could be done just as effectively in-house.
This warning comes hot on the heels of a U.K. government report last week that reveals public sector wastage exceeding £500 million ($1 billion) a year when it comes to unnecessary, as well as poor utilization, of consultants.
In silicon.com's 12-strong CIO Jury IT user panel last week, the issue was split when the question was posed about whether external consultants deliver value for money. The answer appears to be both "yes" and "no" - the main caveat being that consultants need to be tightly managed to get the most value out of them.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, CIO of Sodexho UK nipped one of the main issues involved:
"Though consultants can sometimes truly be 'partners' their primary motivation is revenue for their company not yours."
Paul Halay, IT director at the University of Aberdeen says:
"To permit the consultant to scope the project is to abdicate managerial responsibility."
You can read more here:
Are consultants a waste of money? (Silicon.com)
Speaking of management of consultants, I wrote a piece about managing vendors recently - specifically on what not to do when it comes to managing vendors when doing a procurement.
Anyway, it's time for the polls again. As usual - since the world is not monochrome; you get two "yes" choices and two "no" choices.
What do you think? Perhaps some IT consultants, or vendors involved in some role with consulting, would care to comment. Alternatively, if you have experience working with such vendors, feel free to give your two cents, as well.
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Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.