Gartner closes consulting business in Australia, Hong Kong

Gartner lays off 18 people

Consulting firm Gartner this week decided to end its consulting operations in Australia and Hong Kong. The decision to end its operations and lay off 18 people has surprised other industry players, which say the move resulted from misguided strategy.

Director of Sydney-based consulting firm IT Newcom Chris Morris says he is surprised at the move "given the fairly healthy state of the consulting market", particularly in Canberra.

Morris says 18 people have been made redundant as a result, and the business is not going well because it focused too much on high-level strategic work and the value is in the tactical work.

"They were looking at big picture stuff like business-IT alignment but the market is focused around tactical projects and doing implementations," Morris says, adding for Gartner it was always a reasonably small part of its operations and "perhaps the growth wasn't there for them".

Morris estimates 75% of the 18 people were located in Australia.

The closure of the Sydney and Hong Kong operations follows Singapore which shut up shop about nine months ago.

Director of IT analyst relations firm Intelligen David Noble says while he doesn't have a lot of visibility on Gartner's consulting efforts, he is surprised at the closure.

"I would assume it was a good revenue generator and relatively profitable but it is competitive and there are others that are reasonably active," Noble says, adding it is arguable there is "a little bit of conflict" in having an analyst and consulting business.

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