Many decision-makers at companies find themselves questioning the value of IT consulting companies. For a lot of them, it really comes down to a lack of knowledge of what consultants do. It doesn’t help that there are so many kinds of consultants, all with varying levels of expertise and value.
We get that so let’s discuss the basics of IT consulting and how to determine if your business can benefit from it.
What Are IT Consulting Companies?
An IT consulting company works with clients to help them solve IT problems. The field includes everything from basic network analytics assistance all the way up to managed IT solutions.
Most consulting firms will specialize in a fairly narrow field of IT. These can include:
In a very few cases, an IT consulting company can take on a “general contractor” role in which some services are provided directly by their internal staff and some are provided by third party contracts that the IT consultant oversees. The advantages of this type of consultant include access to a greatly enhanced skill set, the ability to choose from a variety of providers to tailor a solution, and the creation of a one-stop entity capable of everything from design through procurement, logistics, installation and on to ongoing support. Cynergy Technology is this type of consulting organization.
- Cloud services
- Disaster management
- Network operations
- Cybersecurity and compliance
- Managed IT solutions
Whether their scope is narrow or wide, consultants from these companies will review your business needs and current operations. They then make recommendations and suggest new equipment and software.
What Do IT Consultants Do?
At their core, IT consultants are experts in using technology to meet business objectives. They take a high-level view of an organization’s problems and make recommendations.
Many consultants are brought in specifically for advice. They study the flow of a business and identify areas that can be improved. In IT, this takes the form of recommending types of hardware, software and systems to use. Many software companies will offer consulting services as part of a product or service sale. This allows a company to customize newly purchased item to specific needs.
There are also IT consultants who specialize in the day to day maintenance of a company’s systems. You can hire them to provide managed IT services in partnership with your existing IT staff or, in the absence of your own IT staff, to become your in-house IT department with outside contractors.
Benefits of Using an IT Consulting Company
There are several major benefits to hiring IT consultants. These include the specialized knowledge they bring to bear on a problem and cost savings over employees.
IT consultants usually have a deep knowledge base in one or more areas. They’re experts in their field and have experience implementing and working with the components within it. Chances are that a good consultant will have dealt with a situation very similar to your company’s with another client. This gives them real-world experience and firsthand knowledge they can apply to your needs.
Many companies balk at the high hourly rate consulting companies can charge. This overlooks the significant savings you’ll see from not hiring full-time employees. You get their specialized knowledge without the space, benefits, vacation, sick time or unexpected departure common with internal IT staffing. Their outsider status also provides a major benefit. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when dealing with a major issue. Providing a new set of eyes is a great way to reinvigorate a project.
IT for the Future
The IT field is changing on a daily basis. IT consulting companies provide organizations with a great way to keep abreast of major changes. They also make it easy to upgrade your systems in the most effective ways possible. If you would like to learn more about the benefits IT consulting can bring your company, check out some of our services