Large enterprises have the infrastructure that suits their IT requirements and the resource to manage it effectively. With small business and medium enterprises, the decision makers and other experts play different roles in managing IT within their organization. However, IT is not something which could be part of your multi-tasking routine. There are many aspects to IT management including Network Setup, Data Backup, Virus Removal, and Data Security, which should be handled only by an expert.
We have already explained why SMBs require the services of an IT consultant in one of our previous blogs. We have also explained what are the different services associated with IT consulting, and explained the importance of each area in IT consulting. We explained the different reasons why you should hire an IT consultant including reasons like to get an external overview, to gain special expertise, as a onetime requirement, and for outsourcing and staff augmentation.
From the feedback we received from our previous blog, we understood our followers and our customers were having difficulty in choosing the right IT consultant for their organization. When someone has truly understood the reason for working with an IT consultant, we could explain what you should look for when you are hiring an IT consultant.
Here are 5 major aspects you should look for in an IT consultant.
1. Ability and Technical Expertise:
The reason you are looking to hire an IT consultant in the first place is because you or your organization lacks technical expertise to manage IT requirements of the organization. IT is vast and diverse and each field requires unique set of skills to manage effectively. The IT consultant you are hiring should be able understand your organization’s technical difficulties, and then must possess the technical expertise to handle the challenges and provide effective and efficient solutions. They should also be updated with technology and in turn helps your organization to grow and improve your technical abilities periodically over time.
2. Ambition and Extended Strategy:
Usually IT consultants provide advice only for the things that are asked of them. They just carry out their designated role and are happy with it. After all, that is what they are being paid for. But if you are looking for the best to work with your organization, then you should look for this important differentiator. The IT consultant or the IT Consulting Company, should display a certain degree of ambition and foresight. This helps them you scale their services and also grow along with your organization. They could also interact with you to plan the strategy ahead and carry out tasks that would pay dividends over a longer period. Only the best show such intent and foresight, and it is important for a world-class IT consulting company.
3. Get references:
When you are hiring an IT consultant, should have a fair idea about their reputation. We can understand their positives from their marketing efforts, however you don’t know how their treat their clients, how approachable they are, what is their attitude towards small businesses, among other things. You can find out by calling their previous clients and existing clients which are similar to your business to get a fair understanding of the IT consultant company’s attitude towards customers. Even if they have been recommended by a friend, it is equally important to know from other sources how good the consultant actually is and would they be able to handle the requirements of your business.
4. Relationship with Vendors:
Consultants make a lot of money through references apart from the money they make for providing IT related advice for the organization. They make these commissions and earnings through the technology vendors they refer for the customer organizations. When such commissions and other interests are part of your IT consultant’s earning, it would be very difficult for them to be completely unbiased towards and ensure your company gets only the best of what is available. Apart from this, you should also know how good they are in coordinating with the vendors. When something goes wrong, your consultant should not be passing the blame and pointing fingers at the vendor. They should be able to take full responsibility and accountability for the IT of your organization.
5. Pricing and Added Value:
Low cost should not be your only choice when it comes to pricing. In IT, it is never a onetime payment or a fixed payment structure. You should always keep the entire budget in your mind while choosing your IT consultant. Sometimes the consultants who quote a lower price may be start ups and will take a long time to complete their job, while experienced consultants who are higher priced will be able to complete the job much sooner saving you money. So it important to work with someone who has transparent pricing. It is also important to know about what are the other things your consultant offers your company beyond your requirements. When you hire a consultant with the same industrial experience as your organization, it would aid you in avoid many mistakes the other organization might have faced in the past.
While choosing an IT consultant, you should also do a little bit of thinking and planning about what are the requirements of your organization, what IT consulting services would you need, what is the price range your are looking for and the time span you intended the projects to be completed. This would help you choose the right consultant who best suits your needs faster.
If you would like to find a good consultant in for the right price and best suited for your business, you can contact XCEL Corp for advice. We provide comprehensive IT consulting services and have worked with organizations across 20 different industrial verticals. We can help you choose the right services, identify your requirements, and provide world-class IT consulting services at incredibly affordable prices.