Before discussing the role of consulting service firms in procurement of Information Technology resources and solutions, we will first describe some rules of thumb that dictate the selection process for aforesaid purpose. The basic rule is “the simpler the better”, but this often leads to oversimplification of complex tasks (Braley, 2009) and we must avoid wastage of time and resources that occurs due to unnecessary attention to detail. There is a myth that a well-written contract is of primary importance in procurement process. This assumption is not true and leads to a lack of effort in making things go right.
Next rule is that one must not sacrifice effectiveness of day to day data collection and other important activities on the assumption that output is the sole primary concern of the system. Schedule of projects must be realistic, which is rarely the case, leading to a myth that projects never complete on time (Braley, 2009).
Having discussed some of the myths and realities of IS procurement, we will now compare and contrast the approaches of different consultancy firms in selection process. Accenture is a worldwide corporation that provides services in the areas of outsourcing, management consulting and technology (Accenture, 2009).
As their value proposition “High Performance. Delivered. ” suggests, they value constant innovation to perform better and their results show that their commitment to their clients is exemplary. Extensive research is their strongest arm which lets their clients procure the best available solution to their specific problems. Accenture works together with customers, including governments, to help them perform much better (Accenture, 2009).
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Their 2008 revenues were in excess of $25 Billion and income was around $1. 6 Billion showing strong growth from their 2007 results (Wikipedia, 2009).
In contrast, Infosys, based in India, has slightly different values but the same quest for excellence. This $4 Billion revenue generating company provides technology-enabled business solutions to help businesses win in a flat world (Infosys, 2009).
The term Flat World is of key importance here. Their philosophy of by passing structural issues and minimizing bureaucratic hassle is embedded in this term. Today, they lead worldwide in the “next generation” of IT and consulting (Infosys, 2009).
Their philosophy enables them to use IT to introduce dynamism in a corporation to make it flexible to adapt to rapid changes in today’s world.
We discussed two successful IT consultants with very different philosophies but one goal: to provide their clients with the specific solutions that make them leaders in their fields. Accenture believes in extensive research and harnesses its power, whereas Infosys flattens an organization for timely and helpful results. The rules of thumb, that we discussed earlier, are evidently practiced within both consultancies we discussed. For example, Accenture practices the simplicity rule when it uses research to know exactly what is required by client and the level of understanding of end users.
Infosys does not let perfection of RFP hinder its flat world dream by putting least emphasis on mere documentation and more focus on tangible results. One trend in today’s IT market is for more and more IT consultancy firms to venture into solution-builder business themselves (Wikipedia, 2009).
This diversifies their market portfolios and increases their customer base. We conclude our discussion by pointing out that the trend mentioned above is good for customers as it provides them complete IT solutions within one roof. Both the consultancies we discussed aim to be that one roof for governments and corporate clients.
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