Small businesses with ambitions to scale will usually reach a point when external expertise becomes necessary to drive innovation. To power your company into its next phase of growth, you may be considering the services of an IT consultant. Improving efficiencies and identifying new opportunities to leverage technology are essential for business advancement, and this is where IT consulting can offer you a competitive edge.
In recent years, the IT consulting industry has grown drastically and is valued at around $420 billion. An IT consultant possesses the necessary skills to guide your company to become more efficient as well as help you enhance your return on investment. This guide outlines everything you need to know about IT consulting, from what an IT consultant does, to how to choose the right consultant for your organization.
What Is IT Consulting?
IT consulting is the process of guiding clients on how to get the most out of their IT strategy, including advice on how to store data, which functionality and technology are required to achieve the client’s IT and business goals, and how to deliver mobile security and process automation.
However, IT consulting goes beyond advising. It also helps customers to reach their goals and prepares them for the real-world issues of system operation and implementation. In most cases, what you want from an IT consultant as a client is not only solution recommendations, but also the implementation of those solutions.
What Does An IT Consultant Do?
There are a range of benefits associated with partnering with a professional IT consulting company.
Here are the 5 most important IT consultant responsibilities:
1. Reduce Downtime
As a growing business, the last thing you want to experience is downtime. Professional IT consultants can provide measured and well-planned approaches to security backups, ongoing system maintenance and disaster recovery that minimizes downtime.
2. Allow More Focus On Core Business Functions
Regardless of the kind of industry you are in, workers perform their best when focusing on their individual competencies. By hiring an IT consultant, the complexities of managing IT-related issues are taken up by the service provider, giving you and your employees enough time to focus on core business functions.
3. Minimize Costs and Control Operating Expenses
Hiring an IT consultant can help save you stress, time and most importantly, money. There are no surprises because everything comes under a well-planned budget, helping you control operating expenses. Additionally, an IT consultant will help your organization to experience long-term stability.
4. Boost Performance and Productivity
IT consulting companies are experts on the latest technologies, and their work is reliant on helping your organization find new methods of increasing efficiencies and productivity. Hiring an IT consultant helps you to realize the benefits of technologies such as file servers, mobile platforms, central databases and much more. This is because they are able to plan, implement and manage the technologies effectively, guaranteeing your organization higher productivity.
5. Increase Security
With the continuous rise of cybersecurity attacks, your organization needs a robust cybersecurity system. An IT security consultant will help you conduct an assessment of your network to detect any possible vulnerabilities, build data security protocols as well as help establish a disaster recovery solution.
An IT security consultant can also provide tailored advice on how to protect all aspects of your business by securing everything from your networks and apps, to your devices. Skilled IT security consultants will also guide you through the selection and implementation of the relevant solutions and technology to keep your data safe.
How To Become an IT Consultant
While there are many paths to becoming an IT consultant, here are 3 steps that most consultants follow:
Step 1: Earn A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or IT
Clients and employers alike often prefer IT consultants with professional education in an appropriate field like computer engineering, computer science or IT. A bachelor’s degree provides experience with coding, software development, data science, and web design, among other kinds of expertise that may come in handy for future clients.
Step 2: Gain Some Experience
As most clients or employers seek out seasoned professionals, gathering enough experience is crucial for any consultant. Entry-level jobs that encompass hands-on work with computer technology systems and networks can offer good training opportunities. They may also seek employment at consulting firms, technology companies or even work as independent contractors to gather more experience.
Step 3: Follow Emerging Technology Trends
Technology is a dynamic industry, and the best IT consultants keep pace with the most recent technology trends. Not only does this keep them informed, but it also helps them to meet the clients’ expectations of them as a ‘technology expert.’ To stay in the race, IT consultants will need to continually train, learn as well as practice the most recent technologies since clients will always go for the best.
How to Choose the Right IT Consultant?
The IT industry provides a sea of variety, from programming languages, tools, platforms, technologies, methodologies and much more. To navigate this diversity in IT offerings, you need to hire an IT consulting company that provides a robust portfolio of IT consulting services accompanied by knowledge and expertise.
So how do you choose the right IT consultant? Here are some factors to consider:
When choosing an IT consultant, you should go for an IT company with a solid reputation in the industry and a lengthy track record of offering efficient and reliable IT services. Don’t be afraid to request testimonials from former and current customers, showing the company’s expertise in the field.
State-Of The-Art Knowledge
Alongside looking for a well-established company, it is also good to look for one that is up-to-the-minute with the latest technological advancements. With a company that prioritizes minimal downtime and investment in the latest software and server technology, your organization will be in good hands.
Before choosing a company, you should check how quickly you were able to reach out to them. How long did it take to return your phone call or email? An IT consulting company is providing support to your organization, and they ought to be very responsive. A good consultant should be able to keep you updated on every single thing that is going on in your organization.
While price should not be the primary factor in selecting the right IT consulting company, it is important to choose a company that has a transparent pricing structure. The cheapest consulting firms do not always mean quality services. As a matter of fact, the best companies often charge higher rates, which can be worth the kind of professional services they offer. With a transparent pricing structure, you will know exactly what you are getting.
Alternatives to IT Consulting
Consider partnering with Electric as an alternative to a traditional IT consultant. We have 100+ experienced IT technicians and engineers, 15+ industry-recognized certifications, and have closed 30,000+ helpdesk tickets in the last 9 month alone. Furthermore, we offer a 105% return on investment to our customers.
Managed IT support is a crucial part of your organization’s adaptation to new technologies. It is your guide through the domain of tech possibilities and how well they could make your business flourish on the market.
With the right IT solution, your organization will be able to significantly cut expenses and, most importantly, achieve impressive results.