Gartner's decision to end its consulting operations in Australia and Hong Kong 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 said he is surprised at the move "given the fairly healthy state of the consulting market", particularly in Canberra.
Morris, citing Gartner contacts, said the business was 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 said, 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 percent 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 said 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 said, adding it is arguable there is "a little bit of conflict" in having an analyst and consulting business.