Do you often set the bar too high for your IT consulting partner? Do you fail to map their duties and responsibilities accurately in supporting your company’s growth? If this describes you, then you’re in luck!
Professional IT consulting service providers offer technical support and strategic planning, fueling business growth with the best-in-class tools and technologies. In this post, we’ll demonstrate why IT consulting services are worth the investment and how to get the most out of your provider.
- IT consulting services are part of a larger managed service group, essentially, third-party companies that offer professional strategic advice, planning, risk assessment, and management.
- Professional IT consulting services can enhance your existing IT strategy through a more refined approach that falls in line with your business strategy.
- IT consulting services can evaluate existing software and hardware and provide recommendations to either purchase new or upgrade the existing equipment.
- IT consulting services integrate the available systems with new technologies to achieve more streamlined operations.
Role #1: Strategic Planning
One of the most important duties of an outsourced consulting service is to help businesses make informed decisions regarding their technology investments. Every business has its specific objectives, and the technology investments should be tailored towards meeting these goals.
Increasing revenue and sales, for instance, is a top priority for 22% of marketing executives; a goal that can be supported by leveraging data-driven insights powered by AI solutions. However, navigating the endless AI options on your own can quickly become overwhelming, which is why professional consulting services are crucial in analyzing available options for cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
Baltimore IT consulting services make in-depth inquiries into your existing IT ecosystem, and your desired objectives, and come up with strategic policies on the implementation of the right technology to meet these objectives.
Besides decision-making, IT consultants provide training and support for newly adapted IT initiatives. In cloud implementation, for example, businesses migrating to the cloud invest in new remote monitoring software and new equipment that varies from the existing technologies.
IT consultants provide training and support to your in-house IT team and employees, equipping them with the skills for adapting to the new technology.
Role #2: Technology Assessment
Your IT consultant may need to check your current IT ecosystem, assess its health, and provide recommendations for improvement. A proactive approach to software and hardware analysis reveals the gaps within your organization.
IT consultants provide a comprehensive needs assessment and help businesses:
- Make informed decisions before venturing into new tech investments
- Maximize the output yielded by existing equipment without sacrificing quality
- Boost security and performance
- Provide better customer service
Although IT needs assessments prove beneficial to the organization, business managers need to be aware of the following shortcomings:
- The process consumes a lot of time
- Finding the right solutions can be challenging
- Meaningful IT assessments are complex, demanding additional investments in expertise
By assessing your technology, an IT consultant is able to project a whole-sided picture of the investments required to take your business to the next level.
Role #3: IT Infrastructure Optimization
Does your technology stack work at its peak capacity? The justification for new software and hardware equipment acquisition often manifests itself in the quality and quantity of its output.
IT consultants in discharging their duties, strive to understand the most vital workflows and find new ways to boost your infrastructure’s capabilities. Small businesses may possess on-site data centers alongside remote cloud storage for enhanced productivity.
Rather than eliminating either of the two assets, IT consultants can integrate both infrastructures to get the best of both worlds. IT infrastructure optimization is critical to the company’s workflows and all changes made have an impact on the organization at large.
Role #4: System Integration
System integration entails combining hardware and software into a unified module that functions as a unit. IT consulting services offer custom software tailored to your business’s specific needs.
One key aspect of system integration is the value added to the organization, stakeholders, and more importantly, the end consumer. When integrating subsystems into a single unit, IT consulting experts focus on the value such an integration would provide to the organization.
Increased efficiency with systems integration signifies streamlined operations while higher quality products and service delivery bring value to the end customer.
Overall, system integration improves communication within the organization, saves time and resources, and provides better insight into how operations are executed – so long as you have the right IT consulting partner by your side.
Role #5: Cyber Security Solutions
IT consulting duties would be incomplete without cybersecurity as part of the service. As outsourced MSPs, IT consulting experts can take charge of bolstering your company’s cybersecurity posture. Some of the key areas of focus in cybersecurity include:
- Network security – IT consultants monitor the network traffic, and track, and report on any suspicious traffic. Quick remedies to suspicious activity can then be initiated, enabling you to filter, curb, and quarantine threats.
- Data security – IT consultants ensure sensitive data is protected from unauthorized access at all times. This can be achieved with endpoint security tools that scan files and network traffic and detect any threats.
- Compliance – Considering the strict industry mandates in handling identifiable personal data, the stakes have never been this high for businesses. IT consultants can help take the guesswork out of industry compliance requirements and avoid legal fines altogether.
IT consultants may also recommend two-factor authentication for an added layer of security. All these solutions will help protect an organization or business from avoidable breaches.
Lastly, IT consultants will also plan for the implementation of cloud migration. Businesses transitioning to the cloud face inherent risks, such as:
- Data loss during the migration
- Loss of absolute control over data
- Security risks
- Loss of access to data without an internet connection
IT consultants can help you navigate these risks, ensuring a hassle-free cloud migration process.
Ongoing Technical Support
Good technical support is hard to come by nowadays. If you’ve dealt with downtime-inducing disruptions before, then you’re aware of the challenges customers face when trying to get through to customer support at the other end of the line.
On average, it takes a couple of minutes to several days for customer support to respond. Microsoft, one of the largest computer software vendors takes between two and eight hours to respond, depending on the incident.
Smaller MSPs aren’t much different either, depending on your preferred provider and their ticketing system. At Shipshape IT, we have a unique 15-minute policy, where we respond to our client’s support requests within 15 minutes. Similar providers may respond within minutes or hours, depending on their internal systems, expertise, and professionalism.
Professional IT consulting service provider duties expand beyond simply integrating technology into your business for smoother operations. Still, the benefits of turning to an IT consultant outweigh the cost.
Ready to take your business to a new level? Get in touch with us today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Professional IT Consulting Services Cost?
IT consulting services may cost anywhere between $10 – $200 per hour, depending on the company. Flat-fee or fixed-rate IT consulting companies offer much more friendly and flexible services at a fraction of the cost.
What Qualifications Do IT Consultants Have?
IT consultants may have qualifications in software development, computer science, or information technology. A rigorous selection process by your service provider ensures that you’re served by experienced and qualified IT experts only.
Is There a Guarantee of Success?
No, there are no guarantees that it will succeed because a lot of factors come into play.
How Long Does It Usually Take to See Results?
It takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to see results with your newly implemented IT strategy. IT consultants often drain much time into laying out your core business functions, finding gaps, and recommending the best solutions for your consideration.
Can I Get a Free Consultation?
Many IT consultants offer free consultations for first-time clients. A careful needs assessment ensues as your MSP gathers insights about your goals and current needs. Other service providers offer IT consultation as a package of a much larger managed IT service, with specific terms covered in your service level agreement.