Friday, September 19, 2008

Consolidation

Well we've seen a bit of consolidation over the years in the IdM space with Oracle, SUN, SAP, IBM and others buying like there's no tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good thing for the industry and it has helped promote thinking and competition in the space.

Could the next step be consolidation of integration firms? I just saw this
link about Entology, which is to be acquired by PriceWaterhouse Coopers.

This on the other hand, does make me think. Do the big consulting firms need to get bigger? Is the IdM industry ready for something like this? While the big firms certainly get the benefit of the many fine minds at Entology, (I have been privileged to meet several Entology employees and alumna, and found them to be quite smart and genuinely good people) this got me thinking about why these things happen. (Not necessarily from the business side, but more from the process/engagement side)

Perhaps it is an issue of evolution. As consulting firms gain experience, they go after larger and larger accounts in the process gaining more and more people in differing roles to support those accounts. I would assume that at a certain point, either you become a big firm or a big firm acquires you. Which is why the largest companies prefer the bigger firms where larger groups of analysts, engineers, architects, engagement managers and project managers are needed? While in smaller firms and companies, all of these roles might be needed, but tend to be done by fewer people wearing multiple hats. Then as people grow within these firms, there is always the thought of "Hmmm... if I were running the business..." and violĂ , a new small consultancy is born.

Whch is best and what is best for the industry? I think there are many variables involved and this little essay is not going to be able to even document all of them. There’s a right fit for all customers, consulting firms and consultants and as long as the evolution process keeps spinning, we will all come out on top.

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