In 2017 when I established IT ADVISORY, my original idea was that I would be a solo entrepreneur. After many years as Business Director, CIO and project manager at big consulting firms and organizations, I wanted a simpler working life. I wanted to focus on what I am passionate about, which is IT management consulting.
But, when you handle projects well, more projects come in, and my business opportunities grew. My entrepreneurial spirit took over and I could not resist the chance to expand the business.
For that to happen, the business model had to change.
In the past decade, the times I have been happiest in general and as a consultant are the times when I created the best bottom line, when I created significant value for the clients, when I collaborated with experienced consultants, and the times the project has been complex, business-critical or innovative.
That was my starting point for IT ADVISORY, which now consists of a small network of top consultants.
We are driven by neutrality, top shelf expertise, personal drive and frankness. In partnership with our clients, we generate substantial value. At the same time, the consultants are great people who are inspiring to work with – for me, for each other and for our clients.
IT ADVISORY – Creating value together
In the IT industry, there are two classic business models for consultants. There are freelance consultants who are typically hired on an hourly basis for months at a time. In this case, it is the client who bears the responsibility and the risk for the quality of the work and for ensuring that the consultant’s time is spent generating value. The other model is big consulting firms with employed consultants and a business model run by partners, a model that is similar to that of law firms. Consulting firms typically take responsibility for projects and the quality of what is delivered, and the client is often charged by the hour.
We have taken the best from both models and made it a little bit better.
IT ADVISORY does not have any employees, but we still have a super sharp team. This is possible because our business model is built around a personal and professional network that consists exclusively of accomplished consultants who are heavyweights in the field. We work together professionally when it makes sense for us, and we exchange ideas and discuss issues with each other because we are driven by professional excellence and intellectual curiosity. We work together on projects for our clients when we can create win-win-win situations. We do this when we can generate significant value for our clients, for the individual consultants, and for IT Advisory.
“One of the most common mistakes is thinking that we have a strategy, when actually, we don’t
If I should single out one thing that is a high priority for us, it is that our work is value-focused. Creating value together is the tagline of our logo because that is our mindset and our mission, and we apply it in our collaboration as a team and when we advise our clients.
The consultants in our network are knowledgeable and influential. They have their own clients and have no interest in being permanently employed. Hypothetically, if I did employ them that would involve a risk and give us the wrong focus. Our attention would shift from value generation in collaboration with the client, to selling services to the client, because the high fixed expenses would have to be covered.
In other words, we are not driven by the utilization of consultants (how much time they sell), and that is a big advantage.
Of course we are not a non-profit organization and our activity level is reflected in IT ADVISORY’s bottom line. The big difference is that I am not working from sales targets, but from having a meaningful working life and creating substantial value with the clients. The reason I can leave sales out of consideration is directly related to the fact that we have a really strong business and the consultants have their own clients, so financial standing is not the only or the most important factor in the way we measure our success.
A neotribal working partnership
Recently I listened to an interesting talk by cultural sociologist Emilia Van Hauen. She spoke of how traditional partnership business models are in decline because Generation Z has turned its back to them. Instead, younger professionals prefer to have a career in which they are a part of neotribal working partnerships, which are based in interest, initiative, flexibility and freedom. As I listened, it struck me that our network at IT ADVISRY could be described in much the same way.
We work together willingly, and only when it makes sense. We share professional interests and highly value the freedom we enjoy in our working lives.
At present, IT ADVISORY consists of nine accomplished consultants who cover an array of areas of expertise that are essential in the field of IT consulting. Meet the team here.
Five distinctive features of IT ADVISORY
Below are five characteristics that are an important part of what makes IT ADISORY a unique consulting firm. We can contribute top-level IT expertise, management capacity and execution, and we compete with the big consulting firms.
1. It must make sense.
We work together when it makes sense. It often does, but everyone on the team also has their own clients separate from IT ADVISORY. We do not use non-compete agreements because it does not make sense to prevent consultants and clients from working together in other ways, if they should choose to do so.
2. We are value-driven in everything we do.
We think of value when we take up our client’s time, and when we plan assignments and their execution. We think of value when we scope strategies and design implementation projects. We think of value in our sales process – our fees are always much lower than the value we generate.
3. It has to be fun.
We have a genuine desire to make a positive difference in the world. We are motivated by using our shared knowledge and skills to help our clients. We think that it is fun and stimulating to work with talented colleagues, so that one plus one equals three, because learning from each other sharpens all of our minds.
4. We evolve professionally.
We are intellectually curious and always want to be better in our respective fields. Our differences are our strength. As we work together, we evolve both personally and professionally, and our clients do too.
5. Our most valuable asset is trust.
We say things as they are to each other and to our clients. We have full transparency and openness, even with agreements and fees. We are not afraid to ask for help and not afraid say no to a project.
If you would like to learn more about IT ADVISORY, or have questions about our business model, then don’t hesitate to contact me directly.