Often the term ‘consultant’ can make business people think of expensive experts beyond the reach of smaller commercial budgets and providing the sort of specialist services likely beyond their scope.
With an IT consultancy this couldn’t be further from the truth: the fact is many smaller businesses could – and indeed already do – benefit from the professional expertise of an IT consultancy partner in their business.
IT consultants: Your flexible friends
IT consultancy professionals are used to working for businesses of various types and sizes, so can tailor their service based on the needs of their client.
For example, perhaps a business runs a Cisco network so requiring ongoing specialist Cisco support from a fully certified expert to ensure the network runs smoothly day to day, and is updated as new software and hardware appears and when networking needs change.
In this and other instances, the IT consultant provides the levels of support for that particular client based on their requirements. Some clients would need more support, some less – the IT expert can be flexible in that various support packages can be set up such as monthly retainer-like arrangements or ‘pay as needed’ options.
One off projects and training
Perhaps an IT project such as creating some new bespoke software or setting up a new network may be required?
In this case, your consultant would help you plan the project; implement it (including project management); train relevant staff once it’s ready then ‘hand you the keys’ on completion and provide whatever level of ongoing support is required.
A true business partnership
You and your IT professional will both benefit from a long term, trusted relationship so to this end your consultant is primarily focused on your business aims and objectives and ensuring your IT is a high functioning tool to help you achieve them.
Therefore, decisions as to what IT to use, when to upgrade or make changes, and what levels of activity (types of data analytics for example) to conduct are all based on your primary goals and objectives.
Your consultant is not simply out to make as much revenue as possible out of you through unnecessary expense: you’ll be guided at all times with advice purely based on your particular aims and requirements.
When do you require an IT consultancy partner?
It could be sooner than you think. Ask yourself the following:
- Do we struggle to keep on top of what’s new in IT and find it all overwhelming?
- Are we potentially missing out on new tech that could help us?
- Could we recover quickly if disaster strikes such as a hacking attack, systems crash or physical disaster? (The offices flooding for example)
- Are some of our staff spending too much time on IT activities at the expense of other parts of their job?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above, it’s worth talking over your current IT set up and your business aims and objectives with an IT professional.