Zero Dependency: The end of technology supplier lock-in

May 10, 2022
  • 6 min read

Imagine this: you engage a technology supplier who creates a plan to enhance a business capability, helps you deliver the build, trains your people to maintain the solution... and then leaves. Does this sound crazy? Maybe, but if you ask us, this is what the future of the technology consultancy industry should look like.

We call it Zero Dependency. This article will explain how it will help organisations:

  • Take ownership of their tech-driven transformation
  • Drive innovation
  • Tap into emerging technologies
  • Close the technology skills gap
  • Better serve their people and customers

The cost of being consultified

In a recent survey of 1000 IT leaders, 92% reported having increased accountability for the financial impact of their IT investments.

Contracts with traditional consultancies aren’t helping leaders overcome this challenge. The work seems to perpetually hover at 80% completion, and the contracts get continuously extended by maintenance issues that only the suppliers can fix. Critically, all knowledge of how to build, maintain and improve the solutions are kept out of customers’ reach.

Consulting has a worthy place, but excluding customers from all the knowledge gained in the transformation process can strip them of both ownership and technical capability. The result? Organisations get locked into never-ending contracts with their suppliers, bleeding budget and in the dark about the ongoing work.

Why does traditional technology consulting hamper innovation?

Organisations today want to innovate, and 90% of IT leaders say that technology is increasingly being asked to deliver that innovation and demonstrate return on investment.

For innovation to be successful, it needs to leverage the intricacies of an organisation’s inner workings. That means the best innovators are the in-house teams who understand and work with the organisation’s challenges every day.

Working with big consultancies often means missing on these benefits. That’s because they tend to apply a one-size-fits-all mould to an organisations’ challenges, hampering its native viewpoints, and by extension, its potential for innovation.

Challenging today’s technology consultancy norms with Zero Dependency

The Zero Dependency framework wants to liberate customers from supplier lock-in by putting them in complete control of the key components that drive exceptional business capabilities:

  • Outstanding people
  • Best practice processes
  • The right technology

We consider the challenges at hand and tackle them with the unique combination of practices, patterns and technology that will spell success for each individual customer. Meanwhile, we coach and mentor their staff, transferring all our knowledge to ensure they can continue building on their capability long after we leave.

How can Zero Dependency help close the widening technology skills gap?

The technology skills gap is wider than ever. Gartner’s 2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap Survey, found that IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, compared with just 4% in 2020.

Trying to address this by hiring for “unicorn skillsets” is high-resource and low-reward, as these are extremely rare. The Zero Dependency framework looks at the challenge through the lens of building capability. Instead of chasing unicorns, it turns to the overlooked, highly capable swathes of available junior and mid-engineers, and trains them to thrive in the skills that companies so desperately need.

How can Zero Dependency disrupt both public and private sectors organisations?

55% of IT leaders are now part of their companies' operational or executive teams, demonstrating that technology is being recognised as a primary vehicle for business change.

Zero Dependency can help fuel that vehicle by building capability, eliminating conflict of interest, and unifying your teams to deliver and improve your tech-driven change. What’s more, it’s universally applicable across industries, companies or sectors.

Revolutionising the public sector

The public sector revolves around addressing communities’ unmet needs with limited budget and supply.

Mike Potter has held a row of senior public sector titles, most recently as CIO at HMRC. He comments:

"Zero Dependency could revolutionise the public sector. Focusing on building technical capability in-house would allow the sector to redirect a significant chunk of its budget towards improving critical services for those who need it. And to complete the equation, it would also give them constant access to qualified teams who could execute on their vision — much more quickly and cost-efficiently than the business models they’re using today."

Enabling the private sector

Private sector leaders have also realised that the supplier lock-in model isn’t serving them, and are looking for ways to take ownership of their own patterns and technologies.

Derek McManus, Chairman at Tecknuovo and former CIO at Telefónica O2 UK comments: “Private sector organisations’ priorities vary widely depending on their challenges and where they are on their IT journey. Zero Dependency is an exciting prospect because it can be applied universally. Whether you’re tapping into new markets or want to drive cost base, need to accelerate your digital journey or are just getting started, Zero Dependency can help you enable those objectives.”

How can Zero Dependency benefit companies commercially?

Traditional consultancies will think that running on a Zero Dependency model would be akin to shooting yourself in the foot. That’s because they’re deeply entrenched in the “land and expand” model that continues to secure their income.

This model was viable when the speed of technology change was slow. But today, when some of the highest-impact technologies like microservices have been in popular use for just a few years, a business model that continuously upskills on new technologies begins to sound like a better idea.

How Zero Dependency can help organisations foster an exceptional internal culture

The Zero Dependency proposition isn’t only an exciting prospect for customers and engineers, but a uniting motivator for in-house staff, too. Where a supplier’s teams are motivated, united ambassadors of their company, these positive effects trickle down to the customer’s experience of working with the company.

The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet. Our mission is to distribute it as far and wide as we can. We’re passionate about working the way we believe all consultancies should, openly sharing our knowledge with our customers and empowering them to drive their own change.

The future of technology consulting is here

As we look towards the future of technology consulting, we’re entering an era where organisations’ IT leaders are at the helm of driving business change. An era where organisations are far beyond willingly having their transformation done to them, and want to independently innovate, compete, and rise to the top of their industry of their own accord.

By staying at the forefront of emerging technologies, closing the skills gap, offering a cost-efficient alternative to today’s eye-watering norms, and building organisations’ in-house capability, Zero Dependency is offering a way out of today’s state of transformation. It’s the paradigm shift the industry has been waiting for, and the springboard that will unleash a world of new possibilities for organisations, IT leaders, teams and end users everywhere.

If you want to learn more about how your organisation could benefit from the Zero Dependency framework, get in touch at

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