Consultants Can Leave Gaps

By eWEEK Labs  |  Posted 2008-05-14 Print this article Print


The Games Consultants Play

The same promises of low cost and fast delivery that delivered you to your consultant of choice could open the door for all sorts of shortcuts and messy processes that get the job done on time and under budget, yet serve to undermine the whole project in the end.

There's any number of shortcuts consultants may take to speed the delivery of their stated task. Maybe they transfer your sensitive data to and from their personal computer via an ad-hoc wireless network or a temporary (and shoddily protected) access point. Perhaps they use unlicensed tools and software to monitor, protect or manage some component of the deployment. Or maybe they punch a hole in your firewall so they can fix things remotely, then forget to close the hole before they leave.

Companies need to clearly state the rules of conduct up-front and establish a system for assessing the overall quality of the work after the job is done. In the contract, companies should set ground rules set detailing the minimum acceptable processes concerning security, licensing, documentation and change management. And then, when the project is done, there must be an after-the-fact evaluation process that not only ensures that the goals of the project have been met, but that no unintended collateral damage was inflicted in the process of getting the job done.

The last thing anyone needs is to find your Active Directory server hosting French porn torrents because your consultant wanted to work from home. --AG


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