Companies offering NHS IT Consultant Services Should Not Be Demonised
The use of IT consultant services by organisations funded using public money is an area that has been open to high levels of scrutiny in recent years. The NHS is one organisation that is particularly sensitive in this area at the moment, due to the ever political nature of NHS budgets and resourcing.
This pressure means that NHS trusts need to prioritise their infrastructure investment and implement it in the most cost efficient manner possible. IT consultants play a crucial part in helping non IT specialists prioritise what resources are needed where, and how they should be deployed.
With the right consultant and framework to work within, an IT consultant can help NHS trusts deliver viable and effective IT solutions, rather than white elephants that cost fortunes and do not function optimally.
These consultants provide an outside perspective, and are able to accurately advise decision makers who may not have an IT background; or need to be making decisions on technology which is not a core skill. These factors should mean that the use of IT consultants lead to more effective and cost efficient solutions.
IT consultants may not always be positively portrayed; but their involvement in vital projects is an important way for NHS trusts and commissioning groups to ensure they have the right IT infrastructures in place.
The NHS is huge, with more than 1 million employees working for 209 NHS trusts. The entire ecosystem is a complicated set up that requires an ever increasing range of IT disciplines and knowledge to run it effectively.
The large number of skill sets required during the lifespan of an NHS location’s IT solution will include software application design and implementation (bespoke or otherwise), server and storage knowledge, networking expertise (fixed and wireless), security disciplines and support for all of the above.
Getting insight and gaining expert understanding in all these areas is impractical to source and maintain in-house.
Consultants can help trusts design, implement and manage their IT infrastructure without each trust needing to have unsustainable numbers of IT staff to ensure the right expertise is available. Consultants can be brought in only when needed to address issues that match their experience and skill sets.
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