Would an IT Consultant Help Your Business Get to the Next Level?
Business decision-makers spend countless hours trying to unravel technical issues that hinder productivity and goal achievement. On the one hand, you typically have IT specialists on the payroll or outsource services. At first blush, that investment seems like it should cover all of your IT needs. On the other hand, your experience with emerging problems indicates otherwise.
That scenario is not an uncommon one among industry leaders. Experienced managed IT service providers usually deliver precisely what your agreement covers. What it may not cover is thought leadership. If you consider what an IT consultant does, it may help your organization stop reacting to problems and get to the next level.
What Does an IT Consultant Really Do?
An inexperienced consultant might throw a lot of technical jargon at a small or mid-sized business professional to seem over-qualified. Maybe something like, “IT consultants undertake strategic operations and implementation to optimize technology and create value.”
That kind of head-spinning talk doesn’t actually answer the question in a meaningful fashion. It’s essential to articulate an IT consultant's basic tasks and goals and talk about them in a language everyone can understand. More simply, an IT consultant analyzes an organization’s current technology, identifies its shortcomings, creates a plan to resolve emerging problems, and brings decision-makers into the discussion. Basically, they analyze, identify, problem solve, and advise.
Of course, there is a wide range of IT consultants with niche expertise in the following areas:
- Cloud Migration & Services
- Disaster Planning & Management
- Cybersecurity and Regulatory Compliance
- Managed IT Solutions
Understanding what an IT consultant does may not prompt industry leaders to invest more in IT budgets, but knowing the benefits often allows professionals to see IT consulting through a different lens.
Benefits of Working With an IT Consultant
Because IT consultants generally work in a narrow knowledge space, it’s likely they have dealt with the problems ailing your organization and already have forward-thinking solutions. Once an expert enjoys a working knowledge of your operation and goals, it’s just a matter of conducting due diligence. That first-hand experience expedites that consulting process and saves organizations money. These are benefits companies commonly enjoy when working with an IT consultant:
- Help Business Leaders Focus: Ongoing glitches and emerging challenges every few months detract from leadership. As an expert in a given field, your time is best served driving productivity and increasing revenue. An IT consultant minimizes interruptions.
- Collaborative Success: An experienced consultant understands their job is to work seamlessly with leadership, department heads, and staff members to resolve issues. Success involves bringing people together for the purpose of cross-departmental success.
- Objective Thinking: When people are immersed in a system, it becomes increasingly difficult to see things from a different vantage point. An IT consultant brings a fresh perspective to the table.
- Improved Security: Cybersecurity ranks among the top concerns for businesses of all sizes. According to reports, 60 percent of small businesses that get hacked close their doors within six months. Threats from hackers halfway around the world put honest businesspeople at risk every day. Cybercriminals change tactics quickly, and IT consultants with a specialization in threat mitigation help prepare outfits for emerging adversaries.
- Improved Productivity: Technology glitches and slowdowns can feel like a thousand papercuts. They cause employees to sit idle and cause unnecessary overtime. Imagine days of streamlined productivity without work stoppages due to technology challenges.
By enlisting an IT consultant's help, industry leaders gain insight into forward-thinking strategies that can be implemented before problems arise. This class of experts researching next-generation technologies and their usefulness in furthering your organization’s goals. Now that you have a clearer picture of the process and benefits ask yourself: Would working with an IT consultant help your business get to the next level?