Shaun Snapp on The Criminal Nature of Consulting Firm Software Selection

Executive Summary

  • Consulting companies nearly always rig software selections so that the vendor they make money from wins.
  • As this is fraud on the part of the consulting firm, it is by its nature criminal.

Introduction

IT consulting is normally all about sales and billing hours. The best way to maximize billing hours is to get clients to implement the most complicated and expensive applications. To do this, consulting companies pretend to be independent software vendors, which ultimately leads them to be selected.

Rigging RFPs

An RFP is how requirements are documented to know what is needed when evaluating different vendors. However, as explained in the book¬†How to Rig an RFP to Maximize Billing Hours consulting companies normally do not allow customers to select from vendors that are the best match for the requirements. This is because it would be detrimental to billing hours. Therefore, the RFP must be rigged so that the software selection results in the “right answer,” the right answer is implementing the software that the consulting company has resources it can bill for. This is known in the industry and considered entirely normal. The consulting company engages in fraud when they declare to their client that they will help them select the best vendor for their requirements. What they mean is they will select the best vendor for the consulting company.

Conclusion

IT consulting is filled with misrepresentations that should qualify as fraud. Many IT consulting companies engage in behavior that should be subject to not only civil but to criminal implications. Software selection fraud is just one of the many areas by which IT consulting firms routinely defraud their clients. The consulting companies do a double disservice to their clients because even after they leave, the customer is stuck with software which was normally selected only because of the needs of the consulting company. Consulting companies walk out of clients all the time, and perpetuate the same fraudulent tactics on their next clients. Having worked in IT consulting for decades and with many different firms (as an employee, as a sub-contractor, as just another consultant reporting directly to the end client) there is not one of the consulting companies that we would trust to do a software selection. IT consulting companies are dedicated to doing what they can to get the most out of the software selection for themselves while leaving the least benefit for their clients.

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