“Are you another consultancy company?” is a question I heard from a student in the FallUP 2017 event. This question seemed to get stuck in my head. Why does it sound like a bad thing to be a consultancy company? It’s somehow like being blamed, are you one of those… Are we, Sujuwa, another consultancy company? While playing around with this thought, I first found myself analyzing what it means to be an IT consultancy.
Since the beginning of IT-technology, companies at most had their own IT dudettes and dudes. Then came the era when companies outsourced everything not related to their core business (Digital stuff is not the core of any business, right ;-). For a while it was like this. IT bids were based on waterfall project models and then the winner of the bid made things on their own premises. This wasn’t consultancy, these were projects.
Let’s not go there why agile methods have gained popularity. In any case this has changed the game. Companies didn’t have their own developers but they had found the light from agile methods, user experience etc. So they had to start buying T&M based experience, not just turn-key projects or out-of-the-box solutions. At least when using the waterfall model, project teams worked at the customer premises. This was the point when IT-project companies transformed to IT-consultancy companies.
Then came the big D. Yeah, digitalization. Companies began transforming traditional services to new digital channels while internal processes are re-founded in automatic ways. This meant that we IT fellows have a lot to do! Customers have started building their own IT-development competence but there is so much D to do. Now it feels like new IT-consultancy companies are founded daily. Existing ones are growing fast. There’s hype and there is a serious lack of talent. Competition for the best candidates is hard. Mostly the game is clean, but employer branding is crucial. This might be seen as arrogance when everyone tries to convince we are the best place to work. Arrogance is not cool in Finland.
So, IT consultancy is all about doing customer projects. Is that so bad, really? What are the other options? Product development or be on the customer side or public side. Or startups. At some point also startups needs customers… I think its mostly the culture and the way of working which matters. Some companies have basically their own premises just for management people and for occasional visits. Most work is done at the customer premises and new employees are sent straight to there. Some of us love working at different places to change projects often. Some of us like to have our own office and own place. At Sujuwa we love our office. Each of us has a place here. We work on long projects. And we do customer projects with agile methods. Are we consultancy company, yes! We respect our selves and our customers. Customers respect us. We respect individuals and give them freedom to choose. You can work at customer premises if you like but you always a have stable home here. You can do projects from our office if you like, or you can work on our own product development here. That’s our culture, that’s our way to do it. Since 2007.