Using a specialist IT consultant can be an effective way of analysing the options available to improve the performance of your IT infrastructure. Or provide a solution for specific projects without the commitment of hiring a full time member of staff.
The evolution of technology will present your business with continuously changing threats and opportunities within the operation of your business and the products/services you offer. In the last ten years cloud and mobile based technology have changed the way that companies operate, creating opportunities to innovative businesses to redefine their position within their industry. Knowing what options are available to your business can help you protect the business from emerging threats and identify new ways of increasing revenue and reducing costs.
The key is finding the right consultant who has the experience and skills to give you the right guidance and project management during implementation. I have collated some of the questions you should be asking yourself before hiring an IT consultant.
These recommendations are based on my experiences hiring/working with consultants in previous roles and my experiences helping companies across the UK with their IT offerings.
Does The IT Consultant Take An Interest In Your Business and Needs?
The role of an IT consultant is to look at your business critically and come up with solutions that meet your requirements. Therefore it is important that they listen to your needs and tailor their advice to your business rather than pitching a readymade solution.
A warning sign will be if the consultant is offering a solution in your first discussion before you have really told them about your company in depth. This behaviour would suggest they are more interested in pushing a specific service than making sure your business needs are met.
Does The IT Consultant Use Case Studies Or Previous Work To Explain The Situation?
The technical aspects of IT infrastructure implementation, can be complicated and/or confusing. The use of case studies by the consultant or examples of previous work can really help you grasp the solution they are offering.
Case studies that include projects that the consultant has worked on in the past may also serve as a portfolio that highlights that the consultant understands your issue and has a viable solution.
Have You Done Some Research Before Talking To An IT Consultant?
If you are hiring someone to solve a specific IT issue that you are having then a little research can go a long way. This will allow you to gain an idea of the different solutions that are potentially out there and ask the right questions during the consultation process.
Having some knowledge will also ensure that you are not bamboozled by an IT consultant trying to confuse you by overusing technical terms.
Hiring an IT consultant is an important decision; I hope that these questions will help guide you when bringing one into your organisation.
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