The big three bore me

kevin reed

In fact, they probably intend to badge it up as ‘evaluating
technology-focused processes’ or something like that.

We all know the firms divested their consulting businesses in the early
2000s. But even then the talk was of the Gang of Three, as some within Deloitte
refer to them, creeping back into consulting work. Deloitte, through luck or
judgment, retained its consultancy arm.

The Gang steadily built up their ‘advisory’ arms, steadfastly keeping clear
of ‘big ticket IT implementation work’. Now they face a dilemma. They provide
advice, but that includes advising on IT.

Ultimately, if you advise on IT, you must ‘do’ IT. You can’t just send
techies on a course out in some mansion in Wiltshire twice a year. Providing
advice requires experience, but IT advice in particular requires hands on,
up-to-date skills.

The top bods at Deloitte seem pretty happy with where they sit on the issue.
The firm rode out conflict of interest issues and emerged through the other side
with a ‘consulting’ arm that still undertakes small-scale IT implementation and
systems integration work, using its own strategy consultants.

Even if the others want more nitty-gritty IT integration work, they still
have a massive battle recruiting the right staff – battling Deloitte and the big
technology firms such as Capgemini and Accenture.

They will move in that direction because there’s good money in it and they
can still avoid being wholly responsible for big IT systems support,or IT
centres in Bangalore. If, or when, the gang finally start talking about IT
implementation, don’t bother waking me up to tell me.

Kevin Reed is a reporter on Accountancy Age

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