Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The time for “pure” IT consulting

You'll notice that a few of the companies worldwide call their software engineers as "consultants". The scope and definition keeps changing.

Business Standard carries out an excellent article on this here.

A few observations from the article:

-At one end of the domain of consultancy are the strategy consultants such as McKinsey, Bain & Co and Booz Allen Hamilton who are considered the intellectual elite of the discipline. At the other end, even a routine bit of customising that takes place while installing an ERP solution can pass off as a consultancy input. A global software services leader such as Accenture, because of its origins in consulting, tends to adopt a broad definition. Accenture was born when the consulting practice of accounting firm Arthur Andersen broke away and its technical implementation capabilities were acquired later.

-Indian players which have a degree of consulting capabilities are Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Satyam and Cognizant. As with their overall capabilities, the big three (Infosys, Wipro and TCS) have similar consulting capabilities, though they are not in the league of IBM and Accenture

-Infosys is most able to compete with global consulting leaders in process consulting and its Indian competitors in technical consulting. By making Infosys Consulting, led by Stephen Pratt, a separate subsidiary, it shows it wants to be taken seriously as a global consulting and IT services firm.

-TCS has been doing consulting work for a long time but formed TCS Global Consulting only in 2004.Consulting for TCS, it is indicated (not officially announced) at $65 million out of a total topline of $2.7 billion. For Infosys, it is $32 million, out of a topline of $2.15 billion. For Wipro Technologies, it is $25 million out of a topline of $1.8 bi

-Indian companies have made a name for themselves by creating a unique value proposition by reducing costs through process innovation and attention to quality.Today, consulting is seen as a must-do for the country’s leading software firms in moving up the value chain and keep growing. The Indian software effort still remains largely confined to the maintenance and development space, where it is globally the most competitive

-Right now the amount of consulting done by leading Indian IT firms is quite small. What’s worse, it is difficult to get a precise measure of whatever there is on the ground.
the idea of consulting itself is quite “fungible” — its scope and content can change according to what you want it to be.


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