IT consulting, or technology consulting, encompasses services that aid clients in assessing various tech strategies that would best cater to their specific business needs. By no means is IT consulting a new concept, its importance is often highlighted by the rapid pace with which technology evolves. Which, in turn, presents many challenges that disrupt a company’s long-term IT strategies.
In this article, we will talk about IT consulting and how it can help your business stay on top of trends that may cripple your infrastructure. But first, what exactly is the meaning of IT consulting?
Choosing an IT consulting company is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your business. For small businesses, it usually involves walking a client through the different ways they can improve their infrastructure while also developing a clear and viable strategy to achieve their business goals.
How does managed IT consulting work?
Let us first tell you that no two businesses operate in exactly the same way. While there may be a lot of similarities that can come about when a company outsources its IT operations, IT consultants and IT services as a whole are used in a wide range of strategies based on what a company needs.
When it comes to IT consulting there are a lot of different and highly-competitive companies that can service your business’ everyday needs. However, it all boils down to the expertise of a particular IT consultant and the goal that a business wants to achieve.
Assessment. An IT consultant should start with an initial assessment to familiarize themselves with your business, your budget, and your most common pain points. This is part of an onboarding process that reviews and analyzes a business’ IT infrastructure and network configurations.
Planning. After the assessment phase, IT consultants will then compile, review, and suggest recommendations that would help improve your network’s overall health and efficiency. In the planning stage, expect to hear a summary of recommendations about hardware and/or software upgrades, backup solutions, as well as monitoring tactics to bolster the effectiveness of your IT strategy. It is important to keep in mind that IT requirements differ from one business to another. Make sure that you voice the concerns that you may have and open a line of communication with your IT consultant about your expectations.
Implementation. A competent IT consulting firm would take your expectations into account and implement them in the overall IT strategy. Expect to notice an improvement in your security, backup solutions, and your system’s overall performance.
Growth. One of the main goals of an IT consulting company is to ensure that your investment returns a positive return on investment. After all, IT consultants are there to help you scale and grow your business while also introducing new technologies as your business evolves.
Maintenance. While it’s true that IT consultants love seeing their clients grow, it’s also imperative for them to ensure that the growth is at a scalable level. Simply put, this means that IT consultants put proactive measures in place to maintain critical components that keep your business operating at optimal levels. Sounds too technical? Let’s put it this way, growth should be manageable. It’s not a good idea to grow too quickly without a proper plan in place.
How can a managed IT consulting firm help you remain competitive?
There are a number of ways that a managed IT consulting firm can benefit your business. Check out some of them below:
Predictable costs Consultants typically charge on a monthly basis based on the services that they are expected to provide. This means that costs will be easier to predict especially during volatile economic conditions.
Experienced technicians By outsourcing your IT needs, you are allowing yourself to focus on much more important things like growing your business. With the help of experienced technicians, you and your staff can effectively work on growing the business and focusing on your core competencies rather than worrying about your IT needs.
Accessibility If you’re not keeping current with the latest enterprise-level technology, you can bet your competition is. IT consultants always have their finger on the pulse when it comes to trends concerning innovations in technology. They can give you expert advice on how to scale your tech needs while also giving you access to the necessary resources.
Scalability One of the first pieces of advice that you will hear from an IT consultant is to “get only what you need.” IT consultants will never charge you for an absurd amount of money because they offer scalable solutions for businesses of any size. Clients have the freedom to mix and match services and only pay for what they need.
Optimum security Chances are your business deals with sensitive information. Having a holistic approach to securing your infrastructure, your operations, and your assets should be every single business’ priority. “Managed IT service providers oversee large data centers and put multiple layers of protection in place,” says Emil Isanov, CEO, ETech 7. “However, users may still be breached by hackers. It is of utmost importance to understand that as technology evolves, cybercriminals evolve with it.”
Backup and disaster recovery planning It doesn’t matter if data is compromised by a natural disaster, malware, equipment malfunction, or a data breach, it is bound to create a significant disruption to your business. Having a backup and disaster recovery plan means one more layer of protection that can help get your company’s operations back on track. Thankfully, a reputable and competent IT consulting firm should be able to suggest different backup and disaster recovery strategies that would best suit your business’ needs.
While it’s true that most small businesses fail to live up to their potential due to lapses in technological planning, it doesn’t mean that it will happen to you. It’s important to understand that success won’t happen overnight. The best course of action to take, before hiring an IT consulting firm, is to map out your business goals and strategically plan for sustainable growth. It may be a tedious process, but it’s a worthwhile undertaking to ensure the success of your business.