Since the dawn of the digital age, Information Technology and computer science have been integral parts of many businesses. Nowadays, they’re even more important due to the rapid digitisation of many industries and widespread modernisation of computer systems used in business. So to make sure your company is well-prepared for new systems/technologies, consider hiring an IT consultant. Who’s that, and what can he do for your company? That’s what we explain below.
Who is an IT consultant and what does one do?
An Information Technology consultant, or IT consultant for short, can be summed up as an IT specialist who helps businesses use technologies better. This process consists of e.g., assessing a company’s business objectives and currently used technology, developing IT strategies to achieve those goals and get the most out of the technology or implement new systems that work faster/more efficiently. IT consultants can also provide their services to individuals. They can be employed directly by IT departments, work for consultancy firms or be independent freelancers.
According to an IT consultant job description, the scope of services provided by one can include:
- Providing advice and solutions for a business’s IT problems
- Diagnosing technological challenges
- Refining opportunities provided by various technological solutions
- Making recommendations for improving IT team’s effectiveness
- Implementing new systems and providing employees with required technical skills trainings
- Developing strategic plans for a business’s IT transformations and technological development
- Advising on software engineering
- Improving current system’s reliability, efficiency, and security
- Supervising new technological projects and technology implementation
- Providing companies with an external look at their currently used technologies and technical status
How can your company benefit from hiring an IT consultant?
As you can see above, IT consultants can bring much to the table when it comes to making a company more tech-savvy and implementing computer science. To sum that up, let’s look at a few benefits of hiring a qualified IT consultant:
As an “outsider”, the IT consultant can provide you with a fresh, impartial standpoint regarding the status of your company’s tech. This allows him/her to pinpoint the real problems and shortcomings without the emotional baggage that tie you and your employees. Such an insight is a crucial part of strategic planning and dealing with current issues.
Relief for IT department
Due to taking care of all IT-related things going on in companies, IT departments rarely have time and human resources to focus fully on single issues, however pressing they might be. By hiring an IT consultant, you can relegate the most pressing matters to a fully focused specialist and let the IT department run the technical side of your business without distractions. As a bonus, consultants are great mediators between IT and other departments – thanks to their communication skills, they can easily, e.g., explain why the new system/program is better than the one used before and how it works.
This one is rather simple – hiring IT consultants for a specific purpose is cheaper than investing in full-time upkeep of IT specialists. It’s especially important for smaller businesses that simply can’t afford to have their own IT team.
Source of valid information about current and new technological solutions
Throughout their work, IT consultants must keep up-to-date with all the new technologies to stay relevant on the market. This makes them a great source of knowledge about the newest trends and technical solutions, their possible uses, and implementation. Thanks to an IT consultant’s knowledge, you can cherry-pick solutions that will keep you ahead of the competitors or help in narrowing the gap between your company and the industry leaders.
Result-oriented, customisable approach
IT consultants not only help in formulating business objectives and milestones, but also supervise their completion and update the strategy for reaching them based on the ever-changing situation on the market.
Plus, all those actions are individually fitted to your company’s unique nature and capabilities – thanks to the thorough assessment, consultants know exactly what your business needs to grow in the desired direction.
How to pick the best IT consulting services?
Choosing a competent IT consultant might be problematic, especially if it’s your first time hiring one. Here are some key areas to look into while browsing for one:
- Background – a good consultant should possess various skills related to Information Technology backed by appropriate certificates or degrees (e.g., issued by the Australian Computer Society). You should also check previous works of each candidate – the most valuable would be the ones who have experience in your company’s field and worked with similarly structured businesses.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills – to be good at their job, IT consultants should be able to perform thorough analysis, pinpoint problems, and offer valid, well-thought solutions best suited for your business’s characteristics.
- Communication skills – knowledge alone is not enough – the best consultant should be able to convey information in an easily understandable manner. This will not only help in keeping both you and the consultant on the same page regarding necessary IT actions, but also enable him/her to share the knowledge with your employees in easily digestible bits.
- Reviews and references – a good way to confirm anyone’s credentials is checking reviews of their previous work and past client references. These can easily show if the candidate can use their skills in real scenarios and show if he/she really can get the job done. If you want to dig deeper, you could always contact some of the consultant’s business partners and ask for their opinion.
A good IT consultant can be a great boon that will help your business reach new heights and fully embrace the digital era we’re living in. Finding one can be tricky, though, so make sure to pick the most trustworthy providers of business consulting services in Australia. One of them is definitely Silicon Cities – a Sydney-based advisory & consulting company.