Gandalf the Grey Visits the Lord of the Rings’ Rohan IT Department

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Executive Summary

  • IT consulting companies collude with vendors to provide vendor-controlled information to their clients.
  • This behavior has a precedent in the book and movies Lord of the Rings.


The Fellowship of the Ring visits the Rohan IT department. To their surprise, they find that IT consulting firms have entirely taken over the mind of Rohan’s IT Director, Theoden.

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In IT, these roles are filled by the following entities.

  • Gandalf = Reality
  • Theoden = The Customer
  • Grima WormTongue = The IT Consulting Firm
  • Saruman = The Major IT vendors (SAP or Oracle, or other)

Both the consulting firm and IT vendor seek to make the customer maximally dependent upon them so that eventually, they cannot interpret what is true. This system cannot exist without continual lying on the part of the vendor and the consulting firm. The vendor and the consulting firm meet together and work out strategies to manipulate their shared accounts.

Is there someone who looks like this hanging around the IT department? No? How about Deloitte, Accenture, IBM, CapGemini, Infosys, Wipro, TATA, KPMG, Cognizant, or PwC? Because, in essence, all of these firms are Grima Wormtongue.

How Many Grima’s WormTongues?

There certainly needs to be more discussion on how consulting firms advise their clients that they know will lead to major issues. During the sales process, the only objective is to “get the business” rather than to recommend things that are good for the client.

The SAP consultants that defend these practices on LinkedIn try to come up with every excuse in the book why it is a good thing to do this. In the case of Revlon, as is covered in the article, What Was the Real Story with the Revlon S/4HANA Failure? They were recommended S/4HANA when S/4HANA was so immature the possibility of going live was 0%. The project is known to fail before it began.

This is why so many IT departments need Gandalf and to erase these Grimas.


IT consulting companies collude with Oracle or SAP against the interests of the customer. There are no consulting firms that have any fiduciary responsibility to their clients. Having an SI in your building is having an agent of the vendor whispering to you and providing profit-maximizing to the consulting firm and the vendor.