IT Consulting: What to Expect and Why Your Business Needs It

The year 2020 has taught us many things, and one of the most valuable lessons is that nothing is set in stone. Quakes hit, paradigms shift, markets transform and collapse, and your business — large or small — needs to be prepared. So if your new project requires IT expertise, some help from an IT consulting service could be a great way to lower your risks and increase your ROI. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

Here are the topics we’ll cover in this piece: 

  • Business resilience and outside help
  • All you need to know about IT consulting
  • What is an IT consultant?
  • Why do you need IT consulting services?
  • How to do it right.
  • Things to look out for.
  • Benefits of an IT consulting partnership

Business resilience and outside help

Japan is home to some of the most resilient buildings in the world – and their secret lies in their capacity to dance as the ground moves beneath them. (How Japan’s skyscrapers are built to survive earthquakes. BBC, 2019)

Strength and rigidity aren’t worth much if you can’t move in unison with seismic waves. No industry, be it pharma, healthcare or automotive, finance, construction or aerospace, etc. is immune to periodic disruptive events. While some can be predicted, most of these occurrences come completely unannounced, making it almost impossible to account for such risks. 

Building up resilience is what businesses need if they are to withstand all sorts of calamities and challenges, which goes hand in hand with implementing the latest information technologies.

→ Explore more about forces behind digital change, and the fears that work against changes

Instead of being a jack of all trades, companies of different sizes are increasingly turning towards delegating their IT needs to outside experts or consultants. This allows businesses to concentrate on their core activities and consequently grow while staying flexible, optimizing expenses, and achieving maximum efficiency.

All you need to know about IT consulting

We understand that finding the right IT consulting firm for your next project is no easy task, so we’ll walk you through the process essentials. 

Let’s start with the basics.

What is an IT consultant?

Whether it’s an individual or a company, an IT consultant’s core function is to provide real actionable advice and/or services to fulfill the needs of a client on an IT-related project. There are a number of reasons your business could need an IT consultant: 

  • Your company is going through a digital transformation and you’re not sure where to start or how to apply your capabilities
  • You want to upgrade or revamp utterly your current IT infrastructure
  • You need to implement cutting-edge tech solutions for a project in order to move forward
  • Your IT department lacks the necessary experience and/or expertise in a narrow field
  • You have a legacy digital product that needs to be updated or completely rebuilt
  • You need a trustworthy unbiased advisory to help you see a bigger picture across your capabilities without missing any details.

The list could go on and on, but if any of the bullets above hit the target, it may be time to call in the cavalry.

Why do you need IT consulting services?

We’ve been talking about  struggles so far, so let’s move on to possible solutions. We believe that working with the right IT consulting vendor should help you to:

  • Gain an outside perspective. No matter how well your executives know your business from the inside, an unbiased external assessment can provide new valuable insights.
  • Save on hiring a full team of in-house talent. Depending on your local job market, employing IT experts can be costly and time-consuming. IT consulting companies provide access to great talent and offer competitive pricing.
  • Define the scope, technical stack, and milestones of a project. Proper planning can prevent future issues that range from minor hiccups to catastrophic standstills when development is blocked by poorly chosen technology.
  • Get the best hand-picked experts to fit your project. The vendor knows its talent, so you don’t have to worry about any mismatch of expertise or technical background.
  • Scale teams quickly and efficiently. When your project starts growing rapidly or recedes to a support phase, your IT consultant handles staffing and reallocates talent when their services are no longer required. Your business is shielded from excessive employment/unemployment expenses.
  • Simplify communication. When working with an IT consulting company, you have fewer points of contact, as most communication is managed internally.
  • Focus on your primary business. By letting professionals deal with your IT-related headaches, you free up resources that can be put to better use.

Sounds too good to be true? Not really, when you’ve found an IT consultant that suits your needs.

How to do it right.

Based on our 20+ years of experience in the IT field, we’ve formulated a set of criteria for choosing the right IT consulting service. Don’t think of this as marriage advice, but here are some of the essential qualities to look for in a partner:

  • Compatibility. The alignment of core values and a similar vision determines the overall success of the cooperation. On top of tech and functional knowledge, cognitive and emotional capabilities are vital, no matter if it’s a one-time project engagement or a lengthy partnership.
  • Stability. The consulting vendor in question has a history of successful projects and has been on the market for at least a couple of years. It’s good to know that your IT consulting partner has the resilience you’re looking for to handle your business.
  • The right expertise. Well-versed in both the technical and business aspects, they employ specialists with lots of hands-on experience. Sometimes you need a niche solution, but it’s best to have a broader set of options all available in one place.
  • An established project methodology. This is something you can’t conjure up out of thin air, because it comes from years of work while being up-to-date at the same time. You don’t want to find out your perfect project is using an unsuited methodology when a change in requirements comes up in the middle of a development.

To fine-tune your selection process even more, we can offer our perspective on some of the traits your ideal IT partner should not possess.

Things to look out for

When exploring an IT consultancy service’s options, be prepared to move in tiny steps. Read reviews, set up an online meeting, describe your needs in detail, and don’t hesitate to ask any type of questions you may have. You should assess your prospective IT consultant with the same fastidious care you would expect them to later apply to your business. If their claims are not backed up by client success stories or their answers regarding pricing and the scope of their services or technology choices for your project sound vague and ambiguous, take a breath and look at option B. It’s a free market, after all.

While there are a plethora of highly professional individual IT consultants operating throughout the global markets, we suggest leaning towards working with an IT consulting company. This way, you can secure more benefits and cover your pain points and business needs better. Perhaps we could take it one step further and ask you to consider the advantages of a long-term partnership. 

Benefits of an IT consulting partnership

Remember the dance analogy we started with? As a business owner or a decision-maker, you may know your moves well, but you will need the right partner to outdo your competition on the dance floor. It equally makes sense to partner with an IT consulting company for smaller, shorter projects and always pays off if you’re playing the long game.

At Avenga, we invest in fostering meaningful relationships with our clients. We enter into a partnership with a sense of mutual commitment. This is a great motivator when looking for solutions that will remain relevant and efficient in the future. It isn’t something you can take for granted or expect in short-term interactions.

The value we bring to the table is not limited to experience or technical knowledge. It’s going the distance to deliver the best possible result that makes all the difference. And, in our opinion, the process should be a breeze, too.

Have a project in mind and not sure how to get started?
Take the first step.
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