Consultants and consultancy have become an important part of our business culture. By definition, a consultant is a person or an enterprise that provides expert advice.
As such, people and businesses have come to appreciate the need for consultants particularly when they can benefit from an outside perspective or when niche expertise is required. As Information Technology continues to transform how businesses communicate, operate and innovate, IT consultants have become particularly important to businesses of all sizes more so to small and medium businesses.
This is because an IT consultant allows these businesses that do not have enough resources to dedicate towards a full-time, in-house IT department to quickly scale up and not miss out on the opportunities presented by IT while also managing their overheads. That said, even large corporations can greatly benefit from IT consultancy particularly when niche knowledge is required for temporary or one-time projects.
What are IT Consulting Companies?
Simply put, an IT consulting company works with organisations to help them solve IT problems. This can vary from basic network analytics to managed IT solutions. Some consulting firms tend to focus on a narrow field of IT while the large established firms offer the whole spectrum of services including;
IT professionals from these firms will review your current operations, seek to understand your business needs as well as your business objectives. They then make recommendations on the various solutions and services together with the accompanying software and hardware that will address your needs.
What Do IT Consultants Do?
At the most basic level, IT consultants are established experts in one or several fields of IT. This allows them to take a high-level view of an organisation’s current IT infrastructure, its problems with regards to business objectives the make considered recommendations that will improve the organisation.
Some IT consultants are brought in specifically to offer advice on a key issue. They study the flow of business, identify areas that can be improved and then typically recommend various types of systems and software to use.
Software companies also offer IT consulting services in addition to selling software. This allows them to customize each software sold to the specific needs of the client.
There are also some IT consultancy firms that specialise in the day to day running and maintenance of an organisation’s systems. They provide managed IT services and will typically replace your in-house IT department with outside contractors either partially or fully depending on your agreement.
The Benefits of Working with an IT Consultant
An IT consultant can have a significant financial and logistical impact on the company. Some of the key benefits include;
Focus on Core Business Functions
Regardless of the industry you are in, it is a well-appreciated fact that employees are most productive when they work on what they do best. The distracting and sometimes frustrating task of constantly having to figure out IT problems comes with a significant opportunity cost. Working with an IT consult allows your employees to focus on what they do best and thereby improve your bottom line.
Expert Knowledge and Expertise
IT is constantly changing. Even for businesses that have a full time in-house IT department, keeping up with the ever-changing landscape is not only time consuming but also expensive. An IT consultancy firm will typically have the leading IT specialists in every field with the latest tools, equipment and expertise as well as the experience of working on similar problems.
Maintaining an in-house IT department and infrastructure can be very expensive even though in most cases, these resources are not utilised to full capacity. Working with an IT consultancy firm allows you to only pay for the service and resources you require resulting in significant cost savings. Additionally, by working with a dedicated team of experts means that IT problems are identified earlier, prevented and fixed which saves you money that would be lost on downtime. There is also the assurance of knowing that your systems and applications will be available 24/7 that is invaluable. Reduced downtime, 24/7 availability and smooth upgrades all culminate in improved productivity, efficiency and ultimately a healthier bottom line.
Cyber security is currently the most prominent challenge to IT and continues to be an evolving threat for every business reliant on IT. An IT consultant will be aware of this fact and will assess your network to identify potential vulnerabilities, help develop business continuity and disaster recovery plan and establish and enforce data security protocols. They can also train your employees on cyber security which can greatly boost the confidence of other business partners working with you.
Choosing the Right IT Consultant for Your Business
The field of IT is changing by the day. The right IT consultant can provide your organisation with a great way to keep on top of the advancements and to optimize your IT infrastructure for your business objectives. With close to 20 years of experience, AdEPT, is a managed services and telecommunications provider with a team of over 300 IT specialists with experience in providing award-winning, simple and proven IT solutions to thousands of organisations across the UK. Need an IT consultant you can trust, contact us today to learn more about our services.