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How To Choose The Right IT Consultant

It’s not a cop out to seek professional help with any aspect of your business, and doing so is no reflection on how hard you work to drive your business or how much money you have invested into it. It simply means that you’re acknowledging an area of your business that could do better if a) someone else other than you could focus solely on it, and b) if you could shift your focus to other aspects of your business. Trying to do everything when it’s your

own business, is sorely tempting - not only because it’s your baby, but because you may think it’s expected of you, too - but this doesn’t always make good business sense.

One aspect of businesses that often benefits hugely from outside professional help, areits IT needs. From basic problems, such as fixing your ‘broken’ computer, to helping you set up your entire server system, IT consultants can be worth their weight in gold for businesses keen to grow and enhance their technical performance.

How an IT consultant can help your business:

There are myriad ways in which an IT consultant can assist you in running your business, and these range from providing basic help with your computer, to hardware supply, to business remodelling, and they can be employed on a short term, long term, or one off basis.

If your business is in its infancy and you have yet to set up your email server, then an IT consultant can help you with that. Cyber security is an essential aspect of any successful business, and IT consultants will ensure that your site is protected, kept confidential and that any data passing through, maintains its integrity.

Choosing the right IT consultant for your business:

Small and medium sized consultancies are often made up of a group of consultants who work together and have a set of specialised skills, and who may have developed these when they worked as employees for big manufacturers. They may have expertise in areas such as small business accounts or specialised CAD, software. You’ll find that many of these groups

have affiliations with the major vendors and so the likelihood of them having undergone training and certification, is strong.

Large consultancies generally employ many hundreds of consultants and IT engineers and will offer a wide range of services. Naturally, these consultants will charge more for their services, but it may depend on whether the consultant is a junior member of staff, or a senior one. If your business is a small one, then it may not make sense to use a consultant from a larger company, but it will depend on your IT needs and your budget.

Finding a good consultant who will provide you with the relevant expertise while not costing you the Earth, can often be done through word of mouth, and asking around among other businesses in your area, is a great way of finding recommendations.

If your IT issues are specific to a product that you have bought, then their own website may have a list of consultants who would be able to help.

Just as with many other industries, a good IT consultant should be willing to visit you to discuss your exact requirements in person. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to review your choice and see if this consultant fits into your work ethic and possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to fix your problem or help you set things up. They will be able to provide you with references, should you require them, or case studies from recent projects they may have worked on. Be warned that some of the larger IT consultancy firms

may send you one consultant, only to send another to complete the work. If you think this could be a concern, then simply ask to know who will be carrying out the work.

Most important when you’re discussing things with an IT consultant, is to be clear about what you are expecting them to do for you, that way you should avoid any confusion or uncertainty further down the line.

So, if you have a new business that isn’t quite tech ready, or your business is growing and you can no longer keep up with its IT demands, simply call in a consultant who will have you tech shipshape in no time. They need not cost you a small fortune, but remember that it will be money invested, and any improvements, changes or updates that they may make, could seriously benefit your business and your profit margins.

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