What is an IT Consultant and how could hiring one benefit my business?
An Information Technology Consultant, otherwise known as an IT Consultant, helps businesses to leverage technology to reach business goals. IT Consultants can help customers to improve various areas of their business including agility, performance, security, compliance and much more.
IT consultants can help their clients in a range of ways – from researching solutions, managing third party relationships, or helping with implementations and user adoptions. IT Consultants work to understand every aspect of their client’s business, their expectations, their targets - and where IT could offer a helping hand in all of this.
Whether a client is looking for infrastructure advice, software recommendations or someone to manage a large-scale upgrade, IT Consultants respond to specific client needs and use their skills, market understanding and the solutions available to them to meet these needs.
Therefore, although IT Consultants are technical specialists, their main focus is always the business objectives that drive their customers to search for answers. Building IT strategy to support business models and goals, IT Consultants are able to deliver measurable change through the power of technology.
How could hiring an IT Consultant benefit my business?
IT Consultants could help you in a range of ways, including:
- Diagnosing challenges and locating areas of improvement within your business operations
- Offering advice and recommendations about specific business and IT problems
- Assisting temporarily with specific projects, where internal resources are not available/suitable for the task
- Managing the software selection and implementation process, to ensure all your team are able to make the most of the products you invest in
- Acting as an external point-of-contact for advice about IT
Why use an IT Consultant?
IT Consultants can help you to overcome a number of common business challenges, such as:
- Enabling employees to work remotely
- Product integrations
- Preventing data breaches
- Workflow automation
- Building an infrastructure which is scalable to align with business growth
- Reducing IT costs
- Moving to the cloud
- Streamlining collaboration and communication
Responsibilities and duties of an IT Consultant
The responsibilities of an IT Consultant can vary depending on the project at hand, and the level of involvement the client is looking for from the consultant themselves. From managing specific elements of a project, to overseeing a project from selection to implementation – it’s all down to the client.
To carry out a project successfully from start to finish, an IT consultant will begin by collaborating with employees from within the client business and collecting information and data about the ‘jobs to be done’ for the project; i.e. where there are inefficiencies or opportunities for improvement. The consultant will then analyse the collected data and discuss the findings with the client, in order to form recommendations and action plans. Lastly, the IT consultant will hand over their results or produce a report, summarising what they have discovered and suggesting ways to improve the business with IT.
In summary, an IT Consultant’s responsibilities include the following:
- Understanding the practices and nature of the business at hand
- Recognising the requirements and scope of the business from the client
- Reviewing their customer’s tech stack and existing product portfolios for areas of improvement
- Analysing, reviewing and communicating potential technologies to overcome business challenges Understanding the relevant tech market (i.e. Legal Tech, Fin Tech, etc)
- Carrying out research about technology offerings available on the market to finalise their suggestions
- Engaging directly with third party suppliers and managing the relationship with them, i.e. by liaising with software engineers and IT support teams
- Analysing potential issues and developing a plan of action which can include time scales, information about resources required, and budgets needed
- Ensuring a high level of usability and positive user experiences on newly adopted solutions
What skills does an IT Consultant have?
IT Consultants are:
IT Consultants have to have strong analytical skills and an eye for detail, as their role involved analysing and interpreting data to find the right solutions for their clients’ business needs. In addition to this, IT Consultants are also required to analyse software and solutions available on the market, reviewing their functionality and ability to solve business challenges.
IT Consultants work with a range of clients. This means businesses from various sectors, and of varying sizes. With this, IT Consultants have to be adept at changing their skillset to work with a range of individuals, who use a range of different solutions and have differing IT infrastructure set-ups. Not only this, but IT Consultant can work with clients from around the world, so they need to be comfortable with travel and adjusting to different cultures. Furthermore, IT Consultants need to be flexible in the solutions they offer, as not every tool is right for all sectors or organisation sizes. To offer such a flexible approach, IT Consultants have to be skilled enough to understand a range of technical solutions on the market.
IT Consultants must able to understand and connect with a range of different business challenges, given that their clients will all be at different stages in their business. What may be a key priority for some may have already been achieved by other firms, so it’s important that an IT Consultant understands the importance of overcoming key challenges and empathises with their customers’ needs.
Perhaps most importantly, IT Consultants need to be good communicators in order to help their clients to understand the solutions available to them. IT projects can be daunting for many, and a good IT Consultant will be able to translate highly complex concepts and technologies into plain English, explaining how solutions would fit within their client’s environment and benefit their business. Through this, IT Consultants can cut through the marketing jargon and ‘promises’ and focus on reality.
At Tiger Eye, we can provide your business with advice and help on IT purchases, including software, hardware and services.
We are widely experienced in Professional Services IT, and we can help businesses within the Professional Services market to get the most out of their existing investment in technology, as well as introduce new solutions to work efficiently and effectively.
As partners with a number of vendors, and as experienced Partners to a range of firms, we can leverage our existing relationships to offer you the advice and solutions you need to meet budgets, timescales and user requirements.
Working with your team and your unique business needs, our consultants can save you time and money, allowing you to focus on what you do best.