Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Thoughts on Boutique Consulting Firms

The days of being an independent contractor are long gone from many large enterprises and have been replaced by relationships with large consulting firms such as Accenture, Wipro, Cognizant and others. The notion of one-stop procurement of all consulting resources was attractive to many CIOs as the negotiation phase with each partner tends to consume more time than it is sometimes worth.

Lately, I have noticed a trend where they too are now starting to move away from large consulting firms and am observing growth in the boutique consulting firms. Others within my network have frequently mentioned the likes of MomentumSi, Excel Partners, Herzum Software, Sena Systems and others being at the top of their game.

The interesting observation is that I haven't seen industry analysts talk about this trend which is curious at some level. I wonder if these firms feel there is value in networking with industry analysts or are they doing something different like interacting with potential customers directly via the blogosphere?

I did a quick search against industry analyst firm RedMonk using a variety of keywords to understand when was the last time they mentioned positively or negatively any consulting firms in their blogs and couldn't find anything. I know that many analyst firms such as the Burton Group, Gartner and Forrester not only provide advisory services but also consult as well but usually there is some level of separation and transparency between these two services.

If it were any other analyst firm, I would speculate that something is wrong but since James Governor, Stephen O'Grady and Michael Cote have tons of integrity, I must assume that the issue is more in terms of consulting firms not understanding the value that interaction with small boutique analyst firms could provide to their own boutique consulting models. Hopefully, the above mentioned firms will connect the dots and further seize opportunities that the big guys simply don't recognize as a threat yet...

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