Vietnamese firms incapable to act as IT consultants

  • 02:33 - 2013/09/09

Vietnam still has to hire foreign IT consultants for most of its big projects because it still lacks the experts capable enough to serve as consultants.

IT consultants, IT solution, IT expert

Who mastermind Vietnamese IT projects?

IT consultants are believed to play the most important role in the success of projects. Good consultancy can help save tens of billions of dong for every project, while the wrong advices would blow away huge sums of money.

Vietnam still does not have experienced IT consultants, which explains why it still has been relying on foreign consultants when implementing big projects.

Dr. Nguyen Tuan Hoa, an IT consultant from DTT Group, said the majority of Vietnamese experts have grown up from the practice and saved experiences step by step during their works. Not many Vietnamese consultants have been trained in consultancy skills overseas. Most of the IT consultants now work as hired workers, while there are few independent consultants who do not have close relations.

In principle, IT consultants not only need to have deep knowledge about IT utilization, but also about politics, economics, culture, natural and social issues. They also need to have communication, presentation, negotiation, foreign language skills as well.

Analysts said Vietnam still does not have many IT consultants partially because no state agency or professional organization has given reliable reports about the current situation, potentials and the challenges of the IT consultancy market, the important information to which they need to refer to determine their business strategies.

The Ministry of Information and Communication has only given a general comment that the Vietnamese IT consultancy market remains fledgling and unprofessional.

Big cake offered to foreign consultants

There have been no official estimates about the scale of the IT consultancy market, but it’s clear that it is very potential.

In principle, the organizations and enterprises which implement the projects funded by international sources or the big IT projects, must hire independent IT consultants.

To date, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Delotte remain the familiar IT consultant names for the projects.

Dr. Hoa affirmed that foreign consultants have been hired for most of the big projects not because the projects’ investors have blind confidence on foreign consultants. In fact, Vietnamese consultants are not reliable enough to provide consultancy services to such big projects.

Vietnamese consultancy firms are inferior to foreign ones in terms of experiences. It’s obvious that foreign firms, which provided consultancy services to many projects would have bigger advantages than domestic ones at the bidding.

As for big projects, worth millions of dollars funded by WB or IDG, involved parties are all required to make reports in English. Meanwhile, weak English skills remain the big problem of Vietnamese consultants. In some cases, it’s impossible to find the equivalent terms in Vietnamese

An unofficial report showed that the IT solution consultancy and system integration services in Vietnam have been growing very rapidly over the last five years with the annual growth rate of 35 percent per annum.

It is expected that the growth rate would be even higher in the future, once the Communist Party Politburo decides that investors must spend money on IT works in all projects. As such, the IT consultancy market could be compared with a big delicious cake. However, it’s still unclear if domestic firms can obtain any pieces of the cake.

Buu Dien

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