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Moving from IT to Consulting

#1 Moving from IT to Consulting
20/08/2009 00:26



I have been in the IT industry for 7 years now. I am currently an Architect. I have increasingly looking at Consulting as the next logical step.

I am not an MBA. Is an MBA necessary? Would my work experience get me a look into the consulting firms. I am not looking at the common IT Consulting but to start say strategic IT Consulting and moving to broader strategic consulting.

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#2 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
20/08/2009 08:33

Designer to ITtoConsulting (#1)

What kind of buildings do you design?

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#3 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
20/08/2009 12:56

chogey to ITtoConsulting (#1)

If you're an IT architect and you want to get into IT strategy consulting then that seems like a big jump.

An MBA would probably be useful, but it's a very big investment of time, money & opportunity cost.

I'm also intrigued by "moving to broader strategic consulting". Lots of people I know think they want to do strategy consulting, until they find out what it actually entails. Perhaps one of the strategic consulting brethren could describe here what they typically do?

Would recommend you get as much information / advice as possible, and ask yourself the question "what do I really want to do and why?"

Best of luck!

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#4 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
20/08/2009 13:33

Anon to chogey (#3)

Hello. I am a strategy consultant and my day mainly consists of making old men who talk the talk but don't walk the walk feel big and important about themselves. I specialise in acting really interested and concerned and thankful when some old duffer gives me his "valuable" insights with fuzzy logic and concepts that are fundamentally flawed, and then leaves me to turn it into a written document that actually makes sense, mainly through fudging the various issues involved and trying to make it resemble something he said closely enough that he thinks it's what he actually described. I also spend a lot of my day in front of a computer re-doing analysis and preparing powerpoint slides that were fine to start with, mainly so that the older folk can claim that they have somehow made a contribution to the final written deliverables.

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#5 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
20/08/2009 13:39

Evil Consultant to Anon (#4)

As someone who's been there, done that and got the double cuff shirt, I'd listen very carefully to what Chogey and Anon have to say.

While I don't really agree that it is that big a leap if you're smart and articulate, their other points are pretty much spot on. Know what you are getting yourself into.


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#6 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
20/08/2009 14:53

ITtoConsulting to Evil Consultant (#5)

Thanks for all your responses till now...

Perhaps i can try an elaborate my initial post a bit...

As a solutions architect my time is spent in absorbing information from Business and the BAs and providing a n IT solution

which will best address their requirements. Of course this further spans to detailed IT design and handing off the work to developers to actually

work on them but my time generally is spent in giving solutions.

How do i see this translating into consulting?

In my work i usually feel this invisible barrier which restricts me to work only upto a certain range whereas with strategic IT consulting i want to get into

a position where i can help business not to support their business but to drive it. I work for insurance and currently how we work is to translate

products that are designed by business into IT solutions but these people do not seem to realize that with a good system you can actually define products

which were earlier not considered because it would have been too complicated

Why "broader consulting"?

I am "relatively" young now :) and have the drive for IT but as I gain in experience i would like to move into corporate consulting like M&A

and say 10 years down the road leave IT to the younger folks.

The help that i need is the best approach to these goals from the folks here who have been there and done that.

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#7 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
26/08/2009 14:38

Blunt to ITtoConsulting (#6)

How young? 20's?

I moved into Consulting after I experienced being a Solution and Enterprise Architect. I just interviewed a young SA, who did what you just outlined. I showed him the door very quickly. Why recruit someone to take an IT problem and then delegate out to developers, networks, SMEs? Where would the value be in recruiting a young SA who wants £50k to do what I can get a £30k BA to do?

Here is where I am on this. Based on what you have sold in your post, I will not be investing in you.

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#8 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
26/08/2009 14:56

Blunt2 to Blunt (#7)

Allow me to explain the big picture from a senior management perspective. We need a paridigm shift. People are our most valuable asset. Competition is fierce.

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#9 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
27/08/2009 05:40

ITtoConsulting to Blunt2 (#8)

Thanks for your comments.

As i said in my initial post I have 7 years of experience after my engineering, please free to do the math on my age.

It is very nice to see someone who successfully made the transition from IT to Consulting. Now i strongly disagree with your notion about hiring a BA. I have seen BAs and more than trying to talk the same language as business most of the BAs that i have seen are not analytical enough to provide any kind of a solution. My work demands that i engage the BAs and business to provide a solution which entails not just giving a technical roadmap but also to provide a business workflow. Yes i delegate work to developers but to develop a solution that the business is already signed off on and is happy with.

Please do not mind me asking this question as i truthfully ask it to get more insight into the consulting world "What made someone invest in you when you moved from a solution architect to consulting".

"People are our most valuable asset. Competition is fierce." which is basically my point that how do you identify an asset when you see one.

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#10 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
27/08/2009 14:29

Z to ITtoConsulting (#9)

I don't really understand a lot of what you are saying - you seem to be trying to "out-buzzword" a bunch of consultants, or at least wannabe consultants.

I work for a 'strategy' firm. The junior people we hire are exclusively from the best universities. We hire them for their potential.

More senior people are hired based on their prior work experience and demonstration of excellence in whatever field - doctors, lawyers, scientists, MBAs, whatever it may be, all bring something to the table, which is a little bit of real-world experience and a lot of ambition and high achievement.

That is what you would need to demonstrate, and I don't think you have shown much evidence of this in the information you have offered so far. I cannot see how any of the work experience you describe would fit in here.

Getting an interview it is far easier if you come from a blue chip background and are the sort of person that the partners will want to put in front of clients. And it is easier again if you are at a top business school and therefore 'in the system'.

Sorry if overly harsh, but it looks to me like a huge uphill struggle, not least because hiring is only now just beginning to see a slight upswing - there are way too many people that are going to beat you on qualifications and work experience

Goodluck though, you have nothing to lose by applying and seeing what happens

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#11 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
27/08/2009 16:27

Chogey to Z (#10)

Cheers Z, that puts it into perspective.

So, ITtoConsulting,

- given what Z's said above

- what you've described you would like to do, which is Info Strategy (not corporate strategy)

- professional / academic quals are only one facet of what you as a person has to offer (others being past & relevant experience, attitude, leadership & management skills, etc etc)

what do you feel you need to add / enhance in terms of where you are now?

(boring old NOW to NEW gap analysis - apologies to other readers) ;-)

It might be an MBA, it might not just be an MBA, it may not be an MBA at all!

Would recommend you consider asking a couple of recruitment firms for advice, or any contacts you have that are already in IT consulting to find out what they want and where you currently are against those reqs.

Z's already given you one viewpoint - you need to get out there and do the research. This is one topic most MBA schools will quiz you on at interview anyway.

One comment: M&A is vastly overrated as a field to work in - seriously long hours against no-sh*t deadlines, lots of number crunching, and that's just the due diligence stage (to all others, that's from my personal experience in industry as a strategy & marketing bod- you may have other views).

Most M&As are value destroying anyway - except for the mechant banks & other professional advisors.


PS: EC - "double cuff shirt"? ;-)

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#12 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
02/01/2010 03:38

Response to Z to Z (#10)

Z, you make it sound virtually impossible for someone who has come through the ranks in IT to move into IT Strategy Consulting. Why is this? People who work their way through IT know its implications and impact on the business. IT seems a logical next step combined with an MBA and mentoring to learn about the business and the drivers that then determine the IT requirements. A person with the IT experience would be invaluable here. My view is taking this approach may help organisations with the ongoing issues of IT not being aligned to the business. What are your thoughts? Do you have any other advice for IT people who are wishing to move to IT strategy or Management Consulting?

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#13 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
13/01/2010 07:57

Attention Tony Restell to Response to Z (#12)

HI Tony,

This seems to be a common topic on this forum. Are you able to provide some insight. Comments would also be welcome from experienced IT Strategy consultants that have been down this path and from Recruiters who read this forum.

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#14 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting - Att:Tony Restell
13/01/2010 07:59

Attention Tony Restell to Attention Tony Restell (#13)

HI Tony,

This seems to be a common topic on this forum. Are you able to provide some insight. Comments would also be welcome from experienced IT Strategy consultants that have been down this path and from Recruiters who read this forum.

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#15 RE: Moving from IT to Consulting
08/03/2010 18:48

surentechy to ITtoConsulting (#1)


It’s good to see that you are looking forward as an IT consultant, after having such great experience in same field as per me I don’t think without being post graduate u can’t initiate your consulting firms but you should be clear what are the services you are looking forward to serve as may be Business Intelligence and Data warehouse, Enterprise Content Management Solution, Custom Application development and database and more.


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